Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy
About the Tonsils and Adenoids
Tonsils and adenoids are small masses of tissue located at the back of the throat. They are similar to other small glands or lymph nodes found in the neck, groin, and armpits. The tonsils and adenoids are believed to play a role in helping the immune system develop antibodies to germs and preventing infections in the lungs. The most common problems affecting the tonsils and adenoids are recurrent infections of the throat or ears and enlargement or obstruction that causes difficulty with breathing or swallowing.
An infection of the tonsils, tonsillitis may cause swelling, redness, sore throat, and fever. Enlarged adenoids may cause difficulty breathing through the nose, noisy breathing, changes in speaking, snoring, and recurrent ear infections. In some cases, the tonsils and adenoids may need to be surgically removed. These are very common and safe procedures for children. At Red River ENT Associates, Dr. Guillory and Dr. Webb have performed thousands of such pediatric procedures during their 20 years in practice.
Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy
A tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy are surgical procedures to remove tonsils and adenoids. Occasionally, tonsils can become inflamed or infected. Adenoids can also become inflamed or infected as well as becoming enlarged. If symptoms are severe enough or occur with great frequency, a tonsillectomy will be performed to remove the tonsils and an adenoidectomy will be done to remove the adenoids.
Your physician can decide upon the best treatment based upon age, overall health, medical history, type of infection and a child’s tolerance for medication or therapies.
Treatment also depends upon the severity of the infection and the frequency with which the child develops infections.
While antibiotics can help, a physician may refer you to an Ear Nose and Throat surgeon to have the tonsils and adenoids removed.
Conditions Indicating a Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy are Required Include:
- Sleep apnea or periods during sleep when breathing stops
- Difficulty swallowing
- Tumor in the throat or nasal passage
- Bleeding from tonsils
- Nasal passage blockages and uncomfortable breathing
- Severe sore throats in one year*
- Five sore throats in each of two years*
- Three sore throats in each of three years*
- Sore throats with fever above 101 F, discharge on the tonsils, positive strep throat culture
- Considerable snoring
- Frequent throat infections or abscesses
- Frequent ear infections
- Varying degrees of hearing loss
- Sinus infections
- Ongoing mouth breathing
- Frequent colds and/or coughs
- Bad breath
- In all cases, a physician should be consulted for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Surgery and Recovery
Tonsillectomies and Adenoidectomies are generally performed on an outpatient basis and most patients can go home on the same day as the surgery. Since the surgery requires a general anesthesia, the patient will be anesthetized in the operating room where the surgeon will then remove the tonsils and adenoids through the mouth.
Recovery begins in the recovery room where the patient is closely monitored. Once he or she is doing well, they will be released to fully recover at home. Most physicians will prescribe pain medication, increased fluid intake and no rough activities for a specified length of time.
* Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology