Tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies are common and safe procedures. As a matter of fact, tonsillectomy is the second most common pediatric surgical procedure. It is also necessary at times for this procedure to be performed on adults. A tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can help prevent frequent sore throats and ear infections. These procedures are not always performed at the same time. Only one may be needed, sometimes both.
The tonsils are glands located in the back of the mouth on both sides of your throat. As part of the immune system, tonsils help fight infections. The adenoids are located behind the soft palate, the back, muscular section of the roof of your mouth. Adenoids also help fight infections. Behind the uvula, there is a passageway that connects the nose to the mouth. And in this passageway, the eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the nose. These tubes prevent large differences in pressure inside the ear. When your adenoids swell, they become inflamed and can cause blockage of the eustachian tubes. Blockage can cause your middle ear to become filled with pus, causing additional infection and swelling. This can even lead to hearing loss.
Tonsillectomy is generally performed because of repeated occurrences of tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is an infection in the throat that starts with your tonsils. These types of sore throats are usually severe and fever can occur. It hurts to swallow!
It’s important to be examined when you have tonsillitis because it can be dangerous if there have been four or more occurrences within one year. And when the illness is not responsive to antibiotic treatment, please see us immediately!
Additionally, if your tonsils get large enough to touch each other you probably have a serious case of tonsillar hypertrophy. Also, if there is an abscess surrounding your tonsils, you may have severe pain on one side of your throat and sometimes pain on opening your mouth called trismus. These cases often need immediate surgical drainage.
Treatment of tonsillitis and ear infections generally requires antibiotics. If left untreated, tonsillitis could damage organs in your body. A tonsillectomy is a procedure in which the tonsils are removed. Adenoidectomy is the removal of the adenoids. The combined operation is called a T&A. Generally these surgical procedures are performed if antibiotics are unresponsive. If antibiotics do not work to eliminate tonsillitis or ear infection, a tonsillectomy and possible adenoidectomy may be performed. These surgical procedures will help you reduce the number of throat and ear infections.
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are performed under general anesthesia. Drs. Medford and Luft can remove the tonsils and/or adenoids in many different ways. When surgery is complete, bleeding is stopped and the patient is admitted into recovery. Upon awakening, you will be given pain medication. Surgery is usually well tolerated although a sore throat is common for the first 10-14 days after surgery. Watch for bleeding. You will initially find it easiest to swallow liquids and cold desert like foods.