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Tonsillectomy or Tonsil Removal Surgery



What is a tonsillectomy?

The tonsils are two lumps of tissue located on either side of the back of the throat. They are often removed when they become enlarged due to infection. A tonsillectomy is the surgical procedure that removes these infected or enlarged tonsils. Often, the adenoids, which are located just above the tonsils behind the nose, are also removed at the same time as a tonsillectomy if they have become enlarged as well (adenoid hypertrophy). When the adenoids are removed, it is known as an adenoidectomy. A tonsillectomy can be performed by ear, nose and throat physicians.

Why is a tonsillectomy performed?

A tonsillectomy is considered necessary if a patient has had several throat infections in a short period of time, or is suffering an ongoing case of tonsillitis that does not respond to treatment with medication. Additionally, patients suffering from upper airway restrictions due to enlarged tonsils may need a tonsillectomy to relieve snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A tonsillectomy may be performed in a variety of ways and is often combined with the removal of the adenoids. The surgical method chosen is dependent on the patient’s overall medical condition and the severity of the infection.

What does a tonsillectomy involve?

The tonsillectomy procedure is an outpatient surgery, performed under general anesthesia. In general, patients who undergo the procedure are discharged within several hours. Sometimes, when a patient is suffering from OSA, they are kept overnight for further monitoring during sleep.

What are the advantages of a tonsillectomy?

Advantages of undergoing a tonsillectomy include:

  • Reduced likelihood that a throat infection will occur
  • Airway increases, helping those suffering from snoring or OSA
  • Short procedure time
  • Patients generally recover within 10 days
  • Outpatient procedure


If you are suffering from tonsillitis and believe you may need tonsillectomy surgery, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience performing tonsillectomy in adults. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.

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