The tonsils are made up of lymphoid tissue and help fight against infections. However, in some people, particularly in children with larger tonsils, these glands can perform less efficiently and cause frequent throat and ear infections or obstruct breathing. In these cases, surgical removal of the tonsils, a tonsillectomy, is beneficial.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.