When a Tonsillectomy Is Necessary
By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
September 02, 2020
Category: ENT Care
The tonsils are two small glands that are found in the back of the throat. They are our body’s first defenses against harmful bacteria and other foreign invaders; however, sometimes even the tonsils can become inflamed and infected. This condition is known as tonsillitis. While dealing with tonsillitis doesn’t require having your tonsils removed, your ENT doctor may recommend getting a tonsillectomy if:
- You are dealing with seven or more tonsil infections in just one year
- You have more than five tonsil infections a year for two years in a row
- You have three infections per year for three years in a row
- Your infected tonsils are not responding to antibiotics
- You’re dealing with enlarged tonsils (this can also cause obstructive sleep apnea and issues with breathing while sleeping)
If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to speak with a qualified ENT doctor to find out whether it’s time to consider a tonsillectomy. For many adults, a tonsillectomy is recommended when sleep is affected by inflamed or enlarged tonsils.
What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?
Wondering if you or your child is dealing with a case of tonsillitis? It’s possible if these symptoms appear:
- A severe sore throat
- White or yellow patches on the throat and tonsils
- Swollen, inflamed tonsils
- Tender, swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Persistent bad breath
- Pain or trouble swallowing
What should I expect from a tonsillectomy?
This procedure is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia, so you or your child will not be awake during the procedure; however, this is a minor procedure, so patients can go home the very same day. A tonsillectomy takes anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour and the area does not require stitches.
After a tonsillectomy, it is important to take ample time to rest and recover, which can take up to one week before returning to normal activities and up to two weeks before returning to physical activity. Your otolaryngologist will provide you with detailed recovery instructions to follow after your surgery.
If your child is dealing with persistent and severe tonsillitis, or if you’re dealing with obstructive sleep apnea, it’s important to consult with your ENT specialist to find out if you or your child’s tonsils need to be removed. Schedule an evaluation today.