Effects of Tonsillectomy on Immune System

Do your enlarged tonsils make your life hard? Have you been suffering from recurrent inflamed, swollen, tonsils that are directly impacting your quality of life? 


Recurrent infected tonsils known as tonsillitis can only be treated through a surgery known as tonsillectomy. Tonsillectomy is a procedure where your doctor removes your tonsils to protect you from its related suffering. 

Tonsils- Part of the Immune system


Tonsils are lumps of soft tissue situated on either side at the back of the mouth that serves as a part of the immune system. These glands protect our body from harmful germs like bacteria and viruses by preventing their entry into the body. The function of tonsils is to fight against these germs by producing antibodies that can kill them thus protecting from throat and lung infections. 


Need for Tonsillectomy 


Recurrent infections in the tonsils can bother the individual with decreased quality of life. Some of the symptoms an individual experience with infected tonsils are:


  • Hypertrophy of adenoid and tonsil could cause snoring,
  • Mouth breathing, 
  • Bad breath
  • Sleep apnea, 
  • restlessness, 
  • anorexia, and 
  • Other diseases that can seriously affect the growth, development, and quality of life in children.

In such situations, doctors prescribe a tonsillectomy. 

Effects of Tonsillectomy On the Immune System


Tonsils are part of the immune system and its removal can have a substantial effect on the immune system. It has been found that tonsillectomy at an early stage during childhood can present a negative impact on the immune function, as it serves as the first line of defense against infection.

There are numerous studies conducted to understand the real effect of this common procedure. All these studies focussed on the various components of the immune system whether in the short term or long term. This resulted in a heterogeneous pool of information sometimes creating confusion or uncertainty regarding this issue.

Immunological Impact


The immunological impact of tonsillectomy in children has long been studied among various physicians and is a continuous concern for the parents. Since the immune system is still growing in children undergoing tonsillectomy can increase the relative risk of respiratory diseases to triple fold. Tonsillectomy can also increase the risk for a chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, upper respiratory tract diseases and conjunctivitis in some patients.

Also Read: Aftercare For Kids After Removal of Tonsils

Similarly, the patients undergoing tonsillectomy also experience a decrease in the Humoral and cellular immunity that came back to normal in later stages after the surgery.

Numerous studies have also reported that Tonsillectomy does not produce any counterproductive effect on the immune system. Tonsillectomy can help improve the immune response by unblocking the suppression of the immune system due to infected tonsils. 

Improves Upper Airway Obstruction


Tonsillectomy can benefit the patients by effectively improving the upper airway obstruction in children thus improving their sleep quality. Effective sleep, in turn, can help promote their immune function, better growth, weight gain, promote neurocognitive effects, and improves the quality of life of patients. 

Short Term Complications


The short term complications of tonsillectomy may involve hemorrhage and inability to eat/drink due to pain. This fades away in a few weeks.



The immune system of children gradually develops with age. The function of the body’s immune response also increases over time. In such a case, undergoing tonsillectomy may or may not have any significant effect on the immune system. However, tonsillectomy in very young children can reduce their immune function and may even reduce their immune function resulting in immunodeficiency.


People can undergo a tonsillectomy from Pristyn Care where our doctors use the most advanced technology. What are you waiting for? Call us today!



  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165587615002360
  2. https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/fulltext/2019/05100/short__and_long_term_impacts_of_adenoidectomy.52.aspx


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