A tonsillectomy may be a recommended for adults and children with chronic sore throat, strep throat, or cryptic tonsils.
Tonsillectomy, or removal of the tonsils, is one of the most common throat operations. The tonsils are masses of lymph tissue in the back of the throat. They work with the adenoids and immune system early in life to defend the body against invading bacteria and viruses. Sometimes the tonsils become infected, abscessed or enlarged, leading to any of a variety of symptoms including sore throat, fever, ear infections, and difficulty swallowing or breathing. Surgery is recommended when more conservative treatments such as antibiotics or steroids fail to relieve symptoms, or when patients have frequent infections or difficulty breathing. There are a variety of methods used, including traditional surgery, microcautery and radiofrequency ablation.