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Removing Your Tonsils Is a Bad Idea

tonsil removal

Story at-a-glance -

  • A tonsillectomy (removing your tonsils located on each side of the back of your throat) is one of the more common childhood surgeries; once thought to be redundant tissue, research demonstrates tonsils are integral to the development of the immune system
  • Risks associated with tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies in childhood include an increased risk of asthma, influenza, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as an adult
  • The surgery is recommended for treatment of recurring, chronic or severe tonsillitis or complications resulting from enlarged tonsils, such as difficulty breathing at night; removal as an adult carries an increased risk of bleeding and secondary surgery
  • Partial removal — tonsillotomy — reduces postoperative bleeding, pain and complications in children and adults; the procedure leaves a portion of the tonsils, which may help prevent chronic respiratory conditions when performed in childhood

By Dr. Mercola

A tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of your tonsils, two oval-shaped pads of tissue located on each side of the back of your throat. Although the number of tonsillectomies has declined drastically in the last 30 years, the surgery continues to be one of the most commonly performed on children, with more than 530,000 done each year on children under 15 in the U.S.


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