indications for tonsillectomy

Last reviewed 12/2022


  • biopsy in selected malignancy

Relative (1):

  • watchful waiting is more appropriate than tonsillectomy for children with mild sore throats
  • tonsillectomy is recommended for recurrent severe sore throat in adults
  • the following are recommended as indications for consideration of tonsillectomy for recurrent acute sore throat in both children and adults:
    • sore throats are due to acute tonsillitis

    • the episodes of sore throat are disabling and prevent normal functioning

    • seven or more well documented, clinically significant, adequately treated sore throats in the preceding year or

      • five or more such episodes in each of the preceding two years or

      • three or more such episodes in each of the preceding three years


  • SIGN (April 2010). Management of sore throat and indications for tonsillectomy