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Tonsils and adenoids, located just behind the nasal passages in the mouth, serve to filter germs. Over time, some people – in particular – develop enlarged and infected tonsils that lead to chronic sore throat, pain and even difficulty breathing difficulties. Adenoids can also become enlarged and infected, causing ear pain and breathing difficultiesproblems breathing. When this happens, your child’s Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) specialist may recommend removal of the tonsils and adenoids.

Common symptoms of tonsillitis and enlarged adenoids

  • Recurring sore throat and difficulty swallowing
  • Bad breath
  • Dental abscesses
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Ear pain
  • Snoring

Usually tonsils and adenoids are removed during the same surgery.


Under general anesthesia, the ENT will perform the surgery through the child’s mouth. There are no external incisions made during the procedure. The tonsils and adenoids are cauterized with a specialized tool that completely removes both and seals the wound. The entire procedure take about 60 minutes, and most children go home the same day.

Learn What to Expect from Tonsillectomy