I think that removing tonsils is barbaric and should be done only when they are so big that they block the flow of air into the lungs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends tonsillectomy for five throat infections in one year, while the American Academy of Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat specialists who do the surgery ) recommend removing them for three infections in a year.

This study shows that after waiting for surgery for nine months, almost 30 percent of children scheduled for surgery got better so they didn't need the surgery. Removing tonsils before age five can harm a child because the tonsils are necessary to produce antibodies to kill germs. After age five, they are not necessary for your immunity.

The aim of this study was to determine whether children undergo spontaneous resolution of recurrent acute tonsillitis while awaiting surgery. Eighty children who had been on the waiting list for tonsillectomy for at least nine months were requested to attend a review clinic with a second review six months later if appropriate. Nineteen (27 percent) of the 70 children who completed the study no longer warranted surgery and were removed from the waiting list.

TJ Woolford, A Ahmed, DJ Willatt, MP Rothera. Spontaneous resolution of tonsillitis in children on the waiting list for tonsillectomy. Clinical Otolaryngology, 2000, Vol 25, Iss 5, pp 428-430Address Woolford TJ, Royal Hallamshire Hosp, Glossop Rd, Sheffield S10 2JF, S Yorkshire, ENGLAND

Checked 8/9/05

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