Tonsils Removal or Regeneration

Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND walks us through her thought process on the subject of tonsils removal.

A study from 2015 showed that tonsils removal (adenotonsillectomy) resulted in a significant decrease in the severity of ADHD symptoms such as oppositional behavior, cognitive disorders, inattention and hyperactivity. This shocking turn-around for a reportedly chronic brain condition has been attributed to better sleep.

Improving sleep patterns is fast becoming an accepted tool for resolving attention issues, though the percentage of those improving after tonsillectomies was much higher than with other sleep enhancement strategies.

What Are the Tonsils?

The “tonsils” are a group of lymphatic tissues found at the back of the throat. Most people think of the palatine tonsils, those two only-visible-when-swollen lumps, as being “the tonsils.” However, five tissues including the adenoids, comprise “the tonsils.”

In this article I call the palatine tonsils, “the tonsils” and refer to the whole system as the “tonsil tissues.”

The tonsils, as components of the lymph system, carry immune cells that fight disease. Tonsil tissues are arguably the most active parts of the immune system. Since most germs enter the body via the gastrointestinal system and respiratory tract, tonsil tissues are strategically located at the best place for immune efficiency.

As lymph tissue, they expand or swell when exposed to germs. Once illness passes, healthy tonsils shrink. In chronic illness, low-grade infections or allergies; however, sometimes they do not.

Because swollen tonsils can interfere with eating, breathing and sleeping, they are often considered more troublesome than useful.


Swollen tonsil tissues can harbor infections such as Streptococcus bacteria. Chronic Streptococcus infections that cross the blood-brain barrier are now suspected of causing the sudden onset of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This condition is referred to as Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infection, or PANDAS.

Tonsils Removal

The standard treatment for chronically inflamed tonsils is to snip them out. Parents are assured that the surgery is harmless and potentially highly therapeutic. This approach does not address why the tonsils are swollen.

Is removing vitally important immune tissue really a good idea?

If your finger was chronically infected, a dedicated physician would probably work hard to treat the cause, and not recommend a finger-ectomy. The same should be true for the tonsils. When sections of the lymphatic system are removed, remaining tissues must protect their own as well as neighboring areas.

While a tonsillectomy may resolve chronic tonsillitis, infections then move. Pockets of pus get stuck around teeth and in sinus cavities nearby, and these areas now shoulder the burden of a lymphatic response.

Regenerative Cryotherapy

Enter Dr. Sergej Dorochov, a Russian trained pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist, with a pristine office in a tiny town near Duesseldorf, Germany, who accidentally stumbled upon an alternative to tonsil removal in the mid 1980s.

Dorochov was scheduled to remove the tonsils of a boy who was deathly allergic to anesthetic. He improvised by applying a local numbing agent, and then freezing the tonsils using a technique called cryosurgery. This type of cryotherapy leads to necrosis of the under-cooled tissue.

The doctor used an instrument cooled down with liquid nitrogen at -190 degrees, which is so cold that it can destroy precancerous lesions and other unwanted growths. Only the instrument, not the liquid nitrogen, comes in contact with the tissue.

Because his young patient could not sit still for very long, Dr. Dorochov was able to touch only one tonsil for a few seconds with the cryo unit. The following week, to everyone’s surprise, the treated tonsil was completely healthy. Regenerative cryotherapy was born. Years later, Dr. Dorochov is a pioneer in regenerating tonsils.

People travel from all over the world to Germany for his restorative treatment, after which they report fewer illnesses and a general improved sense of well being. The theory behind the immune enhancement is that the super cold temperature kills any organisms pooled in the tissues, and the mild burn causes a dramatic localized immune response that revitalizes the tissue.

The Procedure

Dr. Dorochov begins by spraying a local anesthetic onto the throat, stopping the gag reflex, prohibiting swallowing, and taking the pain out of the freezing. This initial procedure often causes alarm until the patient begins to breathe through the nose. Because the body immediately mounts a strong immune response, temporary dizziness and tiredness can also occur.

Other than having a sore throat, most patients are fine after a few days.

Who Is a Candidate for Cryotherapy?

Almost anyone with swollen tonsils or adenoids, who can tolerate a local anesthetic and can hold the mouth open for 15 or 20 seconds is a candidate for this operation. Cryotherapy won’t work for children with developmental delays who cannot tolerate getting a throat culture or who cannot understand basic instructions. Some long-standing cases might require more than one treatment. Dietrich Klinghardt MD PhD recommends this procedure to many of his patients.

Save the Tonsils

Tonsils are strategically located immune tissue. Swollen tonsils are a symptom of immune overload, which can interfere with sleep and may be involved in ADHD and other developmental delays. Once tonsil size is reduced, health care professionals can help reduce immune stress, the true underlying condition.

Improved diet, proper allergy treatment, elimination of food reactors, reduced environmental toxins and dietary supplements are all areas to explore to treat the underlying immune system dysfunction.

About Kelly Dorfman MS LND

Kelly Dorfman is one of the world’s foremost experts on using nutrition therapeutically to improve brain function, energy and mood. Kelly’s special talent for integrating information from many sources and finding practical solutions has made her a popular speaker and workshop leader. She lectures extensively and is a member of Platform (formerly the National Speakers Association) and has been featured on numerous television programs including CNN’s American Morning.

Kelly’s award winning book, Cure Your Child With Food: The Hidden Connection Between Nutrition and Childhood Ailments (formerly known as What’s Eating Your Child) was given rave reviews by Publishers Weekly and the Washington Post.

As a go-to expert on nutrition issues, Kelly is frequently interviewed and quoted in the media. She has been featured in articles in The Wall Street Journal, Parade, Bethesda magazine, Living Without magazine, and the Huffington Post.

Kelly holds a master’s degree in nutrition/biology and is a licensed nutrition dietitian. She is a co-founder of Developmental Delay Resources, which has merged with Epidemic Answers. You can find out more about Kelly and her practice at

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Categories: ADHD | Causes | Kelly Dorfman