Tonsils are small glands in the throat, one on each side. They are there to fight germs when you are a young child. As you get older, the tonsils become less important in fighting germs and usually shrink. Your body can still fight germs without them.
Why take tonsils out?
We only take them out if they are doing more harm than good. We take tonsils out if they cause recurrent sore throats despite treatment with antibiotics.
A quinsy is an abscess that develops alongside the tonsil, as a result of infection, and is most unpleasant.
People who have had a quinsy therefore often choose to have a tonsillectomy to prevent having another.
Tonsils are also removed if we suspect there is a tumour. A rapid increase in the size of a tonsil or ulceration or bleeding occurs if a tumour develops. Tumours of the tonsil are rare.
Do I have to have my tonsils out?
You will not always need to have your tonsils out. You may want to just wait and see if the problem gets better by itself. We will explain to you why we think surgery is the best treatment.
You may change your mind about the operation at any time, and signing a consent form does not mean that you have to have the operation.
How can I be referred for tonsil surgery?
You can be referred for tonsil surgery by your GP or another health professional.