Tonsil surgery, or in its medical name, tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils. Inflammation of the tonsils is called tonsillitis.
The tonsils are the two oval-shaped organs located at the back of the throat. There is one tonsil on each side of the throat. The tonsils are part of the immune system and serve as the body’s first line of defense against oral bacteria and viruses. Decreased function of the tonsils within the immune system after puberty is thought to be a factor that may be responsible for the rare occurrence of tonsillitis in adults.
In the past, tonsil surgery was a common practice in the treatment of recurrent tonsillitis. Today, in addition to this situation, tonsil structures that can cause respiratory disorders during sleep can be surgically removed.
Why Is Tonsil Surgery Performed?
Tonsil surgeries are often performed in cases of recurrent, that is, chronic or severe tonsillitis, and when the tonsils cause breathing difficulties due to enlarged tonsils.
When Is Tonsil Surgery Performed?
Tonsillitis, which is seen at least seven times in the previous year, at least five times a year in the last two years, or at least three times a year in the last three years, can be defined as tonsillitis requiring surgical intervention. In addition, in cases where a bacterial infection that causes tonsillitis does not resolve with antibiotic treatment, or in cases where an infection that causes an accumulation of inflammation behind the tonsils, that is, tonsil abscess, does not resolve with medication or a drainage procedure, the doctor may recommend performing tonsillectomy.
Tonsils may become enlarged or naturally large after frequent or persistent infections. The doctor may also recommend a tonsillectomy to treat complications such as difficulty breathing caused by enlarged tonsils and interruption of breathing during sleep, namely obstructive sleep apnea.
Doctors may also recommend tonsillectomy to treat other rarer diseases or complications, such as tumor tissue in one or both tonsils that is malignant or suspected to be malignant.
When tonsil surgery is performed to treat recurrent bacterial tonsillitis, it reduces the frequency and severity of sore throat and other bacterial infections. It has been observed that tonsil surgeries performed to treat viral tonsillitis are less beneficial.