So how do we decide when a tonsillectomy is indicated?
A tonsillectomy is generally done for recurrent 'sore throat' or throat infections. However in most children it has been shown that there is no significant decrease in the number of Upper respiratory infections (URI) after undergoing tonsillectomies (Sept 11, 2004, BMJ).
Among other reasons for tonsillectomies would be extremely large tonsils interfering with sleep (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea) detected by snoring, irregular sleep, daytime sleepiness, and mouth breathing. Also if a child has very severe URI's with long lasting symptoms tonsillectomy may be undertaken sooner
Only those children who get a documented (seen by a doctor, preferably)
attack of URI of 6-7 times in 1 year, or 5 episodes per year for 2
consecutive years, or 3 episodes per year for 3 consecutive years should
probably be taken up for tonsillectomy.