Tonsillitis may be bacterial or viral. About 10-20% of tonsil infections are due to strep and must be treated with an antibiotic to prevent complications such as rheumatic fever. Recurrent tonsillitis can occur when bacteria are trapped within the tonsil in small cavities or micro abscesses that are out of the reach of antibiotics. At that time, one may experience infections that follow quickly on upon the next. In these cases, tonsillectomy can help.
We see many people who complain of pain in the throat. In young people, it is not uncommon for this to be caused by an infection in the tonsils that will not clear with antibiotics. The reason has to do with the structure of the tonsil, which contains many spaces where bacteria can build up and hide from the antibiotic coursing through the bloodstream. Some people will even notice yellow, cheesy, foul smelling material that comes out of the tonsil from time to time. If your sore throats come 5 or 6 times a year, and respond well to antibiotics when prescribed, this is probably the reason, and tonsillectomy is a good way to eliminate the problem.
What to expect from Tonsillectomy:
You would have this done in the day surgery unit, under general anesthetic. You would awake with a powerful sore throat, that would slowly improve over the course of the next two weeks. You would be out of work or school for the first week.