Without your tonsils, you cannot get tonsillitis again. You may still get mild sore throats due to the viruses that result in colds, coughs or the flu but these will not last very long.
Are there any alternatives?
There are no tablets or medicines that will permanently prevent tonsillitis. Antibiotics can make the tonsillitis better but if the tonsils are infected frequently, antibiotics may not work well. The only way to stop repeated attacks of acute tonsillitis is to remove your tonsils.
What if you do nothing?
You may continue to have tonsillitis. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to make the sore throat go away each time but this may take more than one course of tablets.
Who should have it done?
You should have your tonsils removed if you are:
- having five or six attacks of acute tonsillitis each year
- very ill with each attack
- off work a lot.
Who should not have it done?
People who have medical conditions that would make it unsafe to have a general anaesthetic should not have one. There are also specific medical situations when a tonsillectomy should not be done. These are:
- when taking medication that prevents your blood from clotting, such as Warfarin
- when you have an illness that prevents your blood from clotting, such as haemophilia.
Both these situations would lead to more bleeding than normal. If you think either of these applies to you, inform your doctor. They will take a blood sample to test the clotting of your blood.
Author: Mr Robert Ruckley MB. ChB. F.R.C.S. Consultant ENT surgeon.
© Dumas Ltd 2006