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Recurring strep throat: When is tonsillectomy useful?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/recurring-strep-throat/AN01626
- With Mayo Clinic emeritus consultant
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.read biographyclose window
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.Jay Hoecker, M.D.
Dr. Jay Hoecker, an emeritus member of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, brings valuable expertise to health information content on primary care pediatrics. He has a particular interest in infectious diseases of children.
He's a Fort Worth, Texas, native, certified as a pediatrician by the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was trained at Washington University's St. Louis Children's Hospital, and in infectious diseases at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1989.
"The World Wide Web is revolutionizing the availability and distribution of information, including health information about children and families," Dr. Hoecker says. "The evolution of the Web has included greater safety, privacy and accuracy over time, making the quality and access to children's health information immediate, practical and useful. I am happy to be a part of this service to patients from a trusted name in medicine, to use and foster all the good the Web has to offer children and their families."
- Strep throat in infants: A common diagnosis?
Treatments and drugs (1)
- Recurring strep throat: When is tonsillectomy useful?
Recurring strep throat: When is tonsillectomy useful?
My 7-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with strep throat four times in six months. Should we consider having her tonsils removed?
from Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.
If a child has six or more severe throat infections in one year, his or her doctor might suggest surgery to remove the tonsils (tonsillectomy). To be considered severe, each throat infection must meet at least one of the following conditions:
- Oral temperature of at least 101 F (38 C)
- Enlarged and tender lymph nodes in the neck
- White spots on tonsils
- Positive test for strep throat
Children can still get strep throat after having their tonsils removed. But for some children with recurring strep throat, tonsillectomy reduces the frequency and severity of strep throat infections.
However, many children tend to stop having recurring strep throat as they get older. The decision to remove a child's tonsils must be weighed against the risks of anesthesia and bleeding, as well as the missed school days to recover from the procedure.Next question
Strep throat in infants: A common diagnosis?
- Paradise JL. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in children. http://uptodate.com/home.index.html. Accessed May 26, 2011.
- Baugh RF, et al. Clinical practice guideline: Tonsillectomy in children. Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 2011;144:S1.