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Tonsils: Number of operations to remove them are falling

5 August 2011 Last updated at 11:32 BST

Around 50 years ago, hundreds of thousands of people went into hospital each year to have their tonsils removed but the annual total is now in the tens of thousands and falling.

Meanwhile the number of people suffering from serious throat infections and diseases is on the way up. So is it time to take a fresh look at tonsillectomies?

Andrew McCombe, from the British Association of Otorhinolaryngologists, who are specialists in ear, nose and throat, said operations had dropped over the years due to economic and political pressures.

GP Dr Rosemary Leonard said there were strict guidelines about when to send patients to have their tonsils removed.