The tonsils are two clusters of tissue located on both sides of the back of the throat. Adenoids sit high in the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth. Infection of these tissues is common in children aged two years and older, and is called tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection, but can be virally based. The patient's history often helps identify the type of tonsillitis present.

If medical interventions are unsuccessful in treating tonsillitis, surgery may be determined to be the best option for your child. Here are some things you may want to know about the procedure and what you can expect when he/she comes home:

The procedure to remove the tonsils is called a tonsillectomy; excision of the adenoids is an adenoidectomy. Both procedures are often performed at the same time; hence the surgery is known as a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, or T&A.

T&A is an outpatient surgical procedure lasting between 30 and 45 minutes and performed under general anesthesia. Normally, the young patient will remain at the hospital or clinic for several hours after surgery for observation. Children with severe obstructive sleep apnea and very young children are usually admitted overnight to the hospital for close monitoring of respiratory status. An overnight stay may also be required if there are complications, such as excessive bleeding, severe vomiting, or low oxygen saturation.

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