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Tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy in children: Indications and contraindications

Jack L Paradise, MD
Ellen R Wald, MD
Section Editors
Morven S Edwards, MD
Glenn C Isaacson, MD, FAAP
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are among the most common surgical procedures performed in children. Adenotonsillectomy is often thought of, and most often carried out, as a single, combined operation; however, in assessing indications for surgery, the two components require consideration individually. The two major categories of indications for tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy include obstruction and recurrent infection [1].

The indications and contraindications for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are reviewed here. Preoperative and postoperative care, complications of adenotonsillectomy, and the conditions for which these procedures may be indicated are discussed in greater detail separately:

(See "Tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy in children: Preoperative evaluation and care".)

(See "Tonsillectomy (with or without adenoidectomy) in children: Postoperative care and complications".)

(See "Adenoidectomy in children: Postoperative care and complications".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 25, 2017.
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