Without tonsils your child cannot get acute tonsillitis again. They 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 stop children getting tonsillitis. Antibiotics can make the tonsillitis better but if the tonsils are frequently infected, antibiotics may not work well. The only way to stop your child having repeated attacks of acute tonsillitis is to remove the tonsils.
What if you do nothing?
Your child may continue to have tonsillitis. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to make the sore throat go away. This may take more than one course of medicine.
Who should have it done?
Your child should have their tonsils removed if they are:
- having five or six attacks of acute tonsillitis each year
- very ill with each attack
- off school a lot.
Who should not have it done?
Children who have other medical conditions that would make it unsafe for them to have a general anaesthetic should not have one. There are also specific medical situations when a tonsillectomy should not be done and these are:
- when your child is on medication that prevents their blood from clotting, such as Warfarin
- when your child has an illness that prevents their blood from clotting, such as haemophilia.
Both these situations would lead to more bleeding than normal. If you think either of these applies to your child, inform your doctor. They will take a blood sample to test the clotting of their blood.
Author: Mr Robert Ruckley MB. ChB. F.R.C.S. Consultant ENT surgeon.
© Dumas Ltd 2006