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bronchitis after having tonsils out?

(15 Posts)
Jokat Sat 12-May-12 17:13:29

My dd has had five ghastly cases of tonsilitis since December and had a few episodes the previous winter as well. Our GP has started us on the route of having her tonsils removed. My DM has warned me this operation would mean any infection will then just go straight into her main air passages since the tonsils can't act as "gate keepers" anymore. I'm aware that the tonsils must have some function as part of the body's glandular system but haven't heard of their removal resulting in recurring bronchitis before. Has anyone experienced this themselves or with their children?

PigletJohn Sat 12-May-12 17:45:55

not answering your question, but (having had bronchitis often, and pneumonia twice - though I have normal immunity) I was given a vaccination against it. I was told that the infection which causes pneumonia is the same one that causes bronchitis, it just depends how far down your neck it gets. It was done when I got the regular flu jab

I presume there are multiple strains but the more immunity you have, the better.

usualsuspect Sat 12-May-12 17:50:48

My DGS had his tonsils removed a few of years ago , hes never had bronchitis
or any recurring chest infection

Jokat Sat 12-May-12 17:59:40

Usualsuspect had he had lots of episodes of tonsilitis before or were his tonsils removed for another reason?

usualsuspect Sat 12-May-12 18:01:11

He had tonsillitis quite a lot ,yes

He had his adenoids out as well

Jokat Sun 13-May-12 20:27:58

Bumping, sorry blush

I'm really worried that I'll just get rid of one evil and impose another one, which could potentially be worse as you can't cut away your airways as well, on my dd. She is three years old. Would be really grateful for your personal experiences.

treefumaster Mon 14-May-12 13:42:09

I had my tonsils out at 30 and it's true that I do get more chest infections now than before. But quite honestly, it's nothing compare to recurrent tonsillitis.

And in any case, her tonsils are useless gatekeepers right now and will probably stay that way. Mine were so mishapen and pitted with scar tissue that they could not play any useful function in terms of combatting infection anyway. All they could do is attract infection to themselves. So I think your DM is thinking about it the wrong way - it's not as if you have the choice between a) healthy tonsils acting as gatekeeper but sometimes getting tonsilitis or b) no tonsils and therefore no gatekeeper and so sometimes getting chest infections. Probably your DD's tonsils are already unhealthy and already unable to act as gatekeeper so your options are a) no gatekeeper and lots of tonsilitis or b) no gatekeeper and some chest infections.

Jokat Mon 14-May-12 21:44:24

Thank you very much, that makes a lot of sense. She gets very high fevers and dreadful coughs with the tonsilitis episodes anyway, and constantly gags while she is ill because her tonsils are so huge. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. feeling better about wanting them removed now, thanks smile

Shivs1974 Mon 14-May-12 21:48:23

My dd2 had her tonsils out 2 yrs ago and we've had no issues with chest infections etc. On a separate note I bought a great book on Amazon called "Goodbye Tonsils" which put her mind at rest and helped to prepare her in the run-up to the op.
Hope this helps

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Mon 14-May-12 21:48:35

I have to admit, I had chronic tonsilits as a child so had them out at 11. I had had lots of bouts of tonsilitis but rarely got coughs and colds. However i became quite a sickly teenager and regulalry got coughs, colds,chest infections and glandular fever at 17. The tonsils do serve an immune function, but there is always a cost-benefit decision to be made if tonsillitic is happening so often it is affecting quality of life/education etc. That's why they are not done so routinely now as they used to be.

mzhang Fri 19-Feb-16 03:54:55

My tonsil was removed when I was 15. When I was 25, I had my first bronchitis and it was terrible. After 35, I get bronchitis almost every year. Now I'm 44 and I get bronchitis every time when I catch a cold.

mzhang Fri 19-Feb-16 04:03:10

My tonsil was removed when I was 15. When I was 25, I had my first bronchitis and it was terrible. After 35, I get bronchitis almost every year. Now I'm 44 and I get bronchitis every time when I catch a cold.

Sometimesithinkimbonkers Fri 19-Feb-16 04:15:31

I had chronic tonsillitis as a teenager and they were removed at 16. Only started suffering with chest infections since turned 35 really .... This year I've had pharyngitis which is just like tonsillitis and remembered why I'd had my tonsils removed! I'd take a chest infection any day !!!!!
My DS6 is having his tonsils removed soon... Ask for adenoids to be removed too they are the harbour the germs!

Needtobebetter Fri 19-Feb-16 13:40:23

I suffered chronic tonsillitis and had my tonsils removed when I was in my 20s, I've never had any kind of respiratory illness since. The tonsils can over react and so when someone has repeated or persistent tonsillitis it's rarely because they keep picking it up, the tonsils are usually permanently infected and reacting. It has a huge impact on health and wellbeing, I can't tell you how much more energy I have since having them out. I'm in my 30s now so it's been about 10 years.

My DS is 3 and had just had his tonsils and adenoids removed. His tonsillitis episodes were so frequent that it's affected his whole life and he was never well. His sleep suffered and after each bout of tonsillitis his tonsils didn't reduce in size so by the time he had them out he had breathing difficulties and was dribbling constantly.

I completely understand your apprehension, I was in turmoil over the decision but I knew that with the tonsils his life was miserable. The consultant we saw explained that he wouldn't be any more at risk from catching other germs because each tonsillitis episode was just the same one flaring up. It was actually making him more susceptible to catching worse germs because he was always run down.

I can't give you an answer because we're only a week in, but he's already sleeping well and is much calmer. It wasn't pleasant watching him go through it but it's been no worse than the awful tonsillitis, in fact it was less scary because there hasn't been those terrible temperatures and sickness.

I made by decision based on my own experience and what our consultant told us. I hope you manage to make your decision soon, I know how difficult it is.

rosiejaune Tue 14-Mar-17 23:09:30

I know this thread is old, but for anyone else who happens to come across it in future:

I had an adenotonsillectomy at age 11, and I wish I hadn't. If I'd understood that I was getting rid of part of my immune system, and I would be much more prone to respiratory infections as a result, I would never have agreed to it. I want them back.

I'm very healthy in general, but have had pneumonia several times since (once during pregnancy) and can't avoid colds at all any more.

I think there is likely a better solution to recurrent severe tonsillitis (probably involving looking at lifestyle and diet, and their effects on the microbiome) rather than the extreme and blunt-instrument-like solution of removing the tonsils and adenoids.

We have no idea how scarred this particular child's tonsils might have been, and even if they were, if there might have been a chance of healthy tissue regrowing at that young age (especially if she was still breastfed, thus receiving regular doses of stem cells).

How many people die as a direct result of tonsillitis? Very few; it rarely impairs breathing that much, and they usually grow out of it anyway, so even if they're suffering right now, it might be worth it in the long run. Whereas many millions of people die of pneumonia; it's got much more potential to be serious.

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