A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils. Tonsils are two small glands located in the back of your throat. Tonsils house white blood cells to help you fight infection, but sometimes the tonsils themselves become infected.
Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils that can make your tonsils swell and give you a sore throat. Frequent episodes of tonsillitis might be a reason you need to have a tonsillectomy. Other symptoms of tonsillitis include fever, trouble swallowing, and swollen glands around your neck. Your doctor may notice that your throat is red and your tonsils are covered in a whitish or yellow coating. Sometimes, the swelling can go away on its own. In other cases, antibiotics or a tonsillectomy might be necessary.
A tonsillectomy can also be a treatment for breathing problems, like heavy snoring and sleep apnea.
A tonsillectomy is used to treat:
- Recurring, chronic or severe tonsillitis
- Complications of enlarged tonsils
- Bleeding of the tonsils
- Other rare diseases of the tonsils