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These days, many young children already have their tonsils removed. The surgery process of tonsil removal is called tonsillectomy. This surgery was once the standard treatment for tonsillitis.


Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Tonsillectomy was commonly done in preschool and school-age children, since they are most often affected with tonsillitis; fortunately this isn't a case anymore.

In some cases, children's behavior and sleep had improved after a tonsillectomy. A study has shown that half of the children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) did not have the disorder a year after their tonsils were removed as their sleeping habits improved significantly. [1] However, for many parents the choice between a tonsillectomy procedure and alternative treatment still stands strong.

Doctors are much less likely to recommend tonsil removal today, possibly because tonsillitis can now be treated effectively with home care or antibiotics. Tonsils are specialized lymph nodes on either side of the throat, a normal part of the body's immune system. Tonsils help filter out harmful bacteria and viruses that could cause more serious infections. If treated with appropriate antibiotics, the symptoms of bacterial tonsillitis should disappear in just a few days, so surgery is generally considered only if tonsillitis affects the child's breathing or swallowing, or if the condition reoccurs often.

After the children in the study group had their tonsils out, tests showed little difference between them and the children in the comparison group. The results appear to support previous research, suggesting a link between children's sleep-related breathing problems and daytime behavior problems. However, these findings do not prove cause and effect, nor the claim that tonsillectomy is a cure for ADHD.[1]

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