Why Remove Tonsils and/or Adenoids?

Removing the tonsils and/or adenoids does not cause any problems with the immune system. In fact, if frequent infections have been a problem, removing them can make the immune system’s job easier. In some cases, a child’s overall health can be significantly improved by removal of the tonsils and adenoids.

Each patient is different and results may vary, but the benefits of surgery can include:

  • Fewer sore throats – Once the tonsils are removed, children are less likely to have bacterial infections in the back of the throat. However, it’s still possible to get infections in this area.
  • Decreased snoring and mouth breathing –Children who snore or mouth-breathe because of enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids often have a decrease in these symptoms after surgery. However, if other problems exist, such as a crooked nasal passage, a long soft palate, or a thick tongue, these symptoms may continue after the procedure.
  • Fewer ear infections – Children with frequent ear infections may benefit from removal of the adenoids if they are blocking the opening of the Eustachian tubes. If frequent ear infections continue after surgery, you may need to talk with your ear, nose, and throat, or ENT, specialist about other treatments, such as allergy testing, antibiotics, or ear tubes.
  • Fresher breath– If halitosis, which is another word for bad breath, is present because of chronically infected tonsils or adenoids, this may improve after surgery. However, bad breath may persist if bacteria in other areas of the mouth are the primary cause. Gum disease, failure to floss, or other medical or dental problems can also contribute to bad breath. Your healthcare provider may be able to assist in identifying the cause.
  • Improved voice quality – If the tonsils and adenoids are extremely large, they may cause a stuffy sounding, or muffled, voice. Removal of these tissues can help improve airflow and voice quality.