Oral of the Tonsils

What is Tonsillectomy?

Tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are surgically removed. It’s one of the most common surgical procedures for children and is also used to treat adults with certain medical conditions. The tonsils are part of the immune system and help the body fight off infection.

Reasons for Tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy may be recommended if a person has chronic or recurrent throat infections, or if enlarged tonsils cause sleep apnea or other breathing issues. A tonsillectomy may also be performed to remove a tonsil tumor.

Benefits of Tonsillectomy

The main benefit of a tonsillectomy is improved breathing for people who have obstructive sleep apnea. Other potential benefits include fewer throat infections and improved quality of life as a result of fewer associated symptoms.

Risks of Tonsillectomy

As with any surgery, there are risks involved. Possible risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Voice changes


Most people heal within two to three weeks after a tonsillectomy. Side effects are usually mild and, in most cases, improve within the first week. After surgery, it’s important to avoid strenuous activity as much as possible to allow time for healing.