16 answers

Reoccuring Strep Throat and Having Tonsils Removed

Hi all - I have a 5 y/o son who has had strep 4 times since August. The last time he was diagnosed with it, we were referred to an ENT. I guess for the possibility of having his tonsils removed. well, he was sick again yesterday w/ cold like symptoms and I took him in to the Dr. I told the Dr we were to see the ENT on Thursday and he asked "WHY?" I told him why and he said, " if is was't reoccuring in the same way, they probably woulnd't do anything." The thing is, is has not presented in the same way every time. So my questions is this, how many of you have had you childs tonsils removed and it helped and how many has it not helped?? Hthe Dr told me that he could have them out and he can still get strep.
I do not want to have surgery on my child because he's at the "4th time with strep mark" I've heard sooo many mixed things about having tonsils out, I don't know what to think!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™


So we went to the Dr yesterday and he said that they typically want to see if 7 times in a one year peroid before they take out tonsils. Our son has had it 4 times in 6 months. While I am VERY THANKFUL that he doens't have to have surgery, I don't want him to have to go through it 3 more times before anything is done. We are just praying that he won't get it again.

I really appreciate how quickly everyone responed and that you took the time to do so. I read all these posts every day, but I've never posted myself. I was nice to see such a caring and supportive community respond!! Thanks to you all !!

Featured Answers

I'm an oldie mom. My son who is now 27 had that same problem as a preschooler. But when they removed his tonsils, it never came back. To this day, his throat has been problem-free. I recommend that option. The operation did not cause any ill effects for him. He recovered beautifully and quickly.

More Answers

I was reading your request and I had a similiar problem growing up with my throat. I had tonsilitis all the time! They were removed along with my adnoids and I am fine! No more problems. My 8 year old was sick often and snored alot! He was referred to and ENT and his were removed before he was three. He has been healthy ever since! I say, if they will take them out... Go for it!

1 mom found this helpful

Our daughter had recurring step also. She would not be antibiotic free for more than a few DAYS before the infection would come back. We DID have her tonsils removed (although she was 8 at the time) and she has been STREP FREE SINCE. She is now 13. I look back at pictures of her in the 2nd grade and there are none without dark circles under her eyes. In hindsight I'm not sure she
EVER felt well. She also does not have frequent URI either. It DEFINITELY made a huge difference in her health to have those tonsils removed, so for OUR family, it was the correct choice. Good luck!!!

I asked a simialr question not long ago on here. I'll give you the advice that i got. Follow your gut. If you think you should talk to a ENT then go. Never questiona mothers gut feeling. It wont hurt anything to go talk with him and see what he says. You never know he might not want to have the tonsils removed. Or there might be another problem. Have you been tested to see if you are a carrier? Our dr believe i might be a carrier. Good luck to you on whatever you decide to do.

my 7 year old grandaughter also has had streph 4 times! Yes, and SO FAR we've learned that the first 3 times they gave her amoxicillian IT MAY HAVE NOT BEEN WORKING. I suggested maybe the antibiotic was not working for her and he agreed and now has her on keflex, she has 3 more days to take the keflex. He will check her again this next week. She appears to be better except for she now has the sinus thing going on, wich drains to her throat. WHICH THIS HAS HAPPENED EVERYTIME SHE APPEARS TO BE BETTER. He also commented that she may be a carrier. The 2nd time she had streph he checked her but commented "i dont think she has it, it doesnt look like it." then when the test came back he was surprised it was positive. He said "i would never thought it to just look at her." so, he has never mentioned taking her tonsils out!
Maybe the antibiotics are not working for YOUR SON, they can be ammuned to certain ones. Mention it, i had to after 3 times it's like please help!! what is wrong. And then he could be a carrier. please check it out ! Good luck! Blessings to you and your family!

If he has had 4 strep infections since August it certainly wouldn't hurt to see an ENT Physician, make sure you take all of your son's records with to your appt. The doctor can take a look at his records and tell you if he thinks your son needs a tonsilectomy.

My daughter had same problem. Has he ever not had strep when tested? If not he probably is a strep carrier. My daughter was diagnosed as a carrier. We had her tonsils and adnoids removed. They also scraped something (can not remember exactly). This was a a huge help. She has not had strep since (4 years later) and her younger brother is not having strep as often, since she was passing it to him. I would highly recomend doing it.

My Grand Daughter gets strep throat every other month. Her Doctor will not even discuss tonsils be removed. I feel the same way, i do not want her to have surgery if it will not stop the strep. Just want some answers. Her school is sending home nasty letters because she misses so much school, but we have Doctor excuses for all of them.

My daughter stayed sick. Not with strep, but with colds and such. They started noticing her tonsils were swelling with every cold. My doctor told me not to worry. But I kept hearing about swollen tonsils. So I made my own appointment with an ENT. They took one look and said they had to come out.

The ENT explained they don't jump to tonsil removal automatically like they did back in the day. They try to delay it and see if the child's illnesses wain and they can keep the tonsils. But my daughter's were bad.

After the surgery they told me they dissect the tonsils, and her's were worse than a 17 yr old who had them removed the day before. She was 4 at the time.

I know this doesn't help, but it might add perspective. Talk about your concerns with ENT. They are very helpful.

I'm an oldie mom. My son who is now 27 had that same problem as a preschooler. But when they removed his tonsils, it never came back. To this day, his throat has been problem-free. I recommend that option. The operation did not cause any ill effects for him. He recovered beautifully and quickly.

Hi C.,
I can tell you from long experience having the tonsils out makes for a healthy child after these episodes. My daughter started this at 15 months old. We wrestled with it till she was in the 4th grade. At almost 10 yrs old she had averaged being sick and on anti-biotics at least 4 to 5 times a year and sometimes more. Sometimes the anti-biotics were repeated on a second round with a different kind. She went from strep, to sinus infections, constantly one or the other. She never slept good, always had big dark circles under her eyes, was skinny as a bean rail as though she never ate and she actually didn't feel good. In the 4th grade she had a teacher that was horrible to deal with about homework and absences, so I finally told her pediatrician we absolutely had to do something! For one thing I didn't like the fact that she had to take so many anti-biotics. He was a fantastic doctor but he still didn't think she needed her tonsils out. I insisted on seeing a specialist, and it just so happened when she went she was starting another episode. That doctor couldn't believe the documentation I took and showed him, and how big her tonsils and adnoids were that day. She was scheduled for surgery right then and there pending her being well on the day of surgery. She had the surgery,tonsils and adenoids removed, came thru it as if nothing ever happened, started sleeping the whole night thru finally, ate anything that didn't eat her first and was healthy as could be from then on. She has occasionally over the later years of course had a cold, or a sinus infection, but not many. She is now almost 21 yrs. old, lively healthy young lady! It was amazing to see how fast she recovered and changed after that surgery. Yes, no one wants their child to have to have surgery, but no one wants them sick all the time either. So its entirely your choice, but I am so glad I pursued it and saw the change in my own child. I sometimes felt pangs of guilt for not demanding something be done sooner and letting her suffer thru all that. Good luck!

I was in the same boat when i was a kid, I always got strep and at the time it was when the doctors were saying getting my tonsils out would not help. The day after I stopped penicillin, the symptoms would come back. The doctors accused my mother of not giving me the medicine, but finally they gave me stronger stuff and it went away. After that i still got it whenever someone at school had it. About I stopped getting it before i started high school, but now two years out of high school I got it again. I was really bad. I was on 600mg of ibuprofen every 4 hours and missed taking the by 15 minutes and spiked a 104.7 fever, got crazy shakes, beyond control of any of my muscles. As an adult the strep is much worse, my tonsils get much bigger, and my whole neck swells. My temperature spike quicker and the antibiotics take longer to make me feel better. I wish i had gotten my tonsils out as a child and maybe prevented the horrible day i had yesterday!

Now try adding four other siblings into the mix and you have my house! :) I have five children who were passing strep back and forth over a 4-5 month period last year. The four oldest are boys and one baby girl. The boys all had fever, sore throat,etc.. and tested positive but baby girl had no symptoms, tested positive. So is she the carrier?? ENT said possibly. She was 27 1/2 months old last July when we removed her tonsils and adenoids. There was big puss pockets on the backside of her tonsils noone was able to see. She recovered great, eating about an hour after the surgery!
The twins did bring strep home last month from preschool and the two big boys caught it also but not our girl. I think it depends on every individual child and how they handle germs/viruses. The ENT did say that our daughter could still get strep just not be the carrier anymore. I think it's worth looking into. Having the tonsils and adenoids removed will also help with the flow of mucus during allergy/sinus seasons.
I wish you luck and hope all turns out well! I am a stay at home, so daughter is the only one not really exposed at a school enviroment. We do go to church activities and she participates with children her age. I wanted to let you know how exposed they are vs. others.

Removing the tonsils will not prevent strep.

Hi C.,
The only thing I can say about getting a person's tonsils removed is...
My husband had his removed as a child. And it seems he gets sick more often because of it.

What your child's doctor says makes sense. It sounds like you might be a stay-at-home mom. If this is the case, try stepping up the hand washing and disinfecting in the house. Usually, "daycare" kids bring home all kinds of "bugs". Is your son around other kids?

Does your child take a vitamin and drink orange juice??

Just some ideas and questions for you. Try attacting this issue naturally. Surgery isn't necessary if it's not life or death, right??


My son was 6. He has strep for 6 weeks. Finally i asked what was the other alts. His dr said to remove tonsils and adenoids. Well we went to see the dr about it and he said that he was a good canadate. I asked him if I could just go ahead and have my 4 year olds removed at the same time. they were done a year ago this May. Thaey have not even been sick since. Best thing I ever did. But you have to get them in a container, my kids love showing their friends

my son had several throat infections up until he was 2 & 1/2. he had ear infections and had already had 3 sets of tubes, and on top of that he snored and never slept through the night. we were in the dr. office at least once a week. The ENT we were reffered to wanted to remove his tonsiles and adnoides, bu tinsurance would not pay for it because of the 4 time thing, (it was not the same type of infection 4 times in a row.) So we had a sleep study done on him and he had sleep apnea, insurance paid for it and we had it done.since having it done, he has had NO throat infections (not even strep, although the dr. says he can still get it), and no ear infections and started sleeping through the night 1 week after they was removed. This surgery is hard on a child, but sometimes it is better to take the pain for the short period than tokeep on getting sick. My son is now 8 years old and still no issues like what we had before the surgery. Good luck and I hope your son feels better

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