One of the most common reasons that a child presents to an Otolaryngology office is to be evaluated for removal of the tonsils and adenoids.
The reasons for performing a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are numerous but the three most common are snoring with sleep apnea, chronic infections of the adenotonsillar tissue and difficulty swallowing due to the size of the tonsils. Adenoidectomy is sometimes performed without tonsillectomy in children with nasal obstruction, recurrent ear infections or recurrent sinus infections. Tonsillectomy is performed alone in adults who have no adenoid tissue.
Tonsillectomy is a common outpatient operation that takes around 20 minutes to perform. It is typically accompanied by a second surgical procedure called an adenoidectomy. The entire operation is performed through the mouth with no external incisions or stitches. At Northeast Georgia ENT, all of our physicians perform this procedure with the coblation surgical scalpel. This device is considered to be the gold standard in instrumentation for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy because its superiority in speed, safety and pain control.
The tonsil and adenoid tissue are prominent portions of a larger structure called the ring of Waldeyer. This ring of tissue starts at the back of the tongue, runs up the side wall of the throat on both sides and meets again behind the nose in the highest part of the throat. The removal of the tonsils and adenoid do not lessen the abilities of the immune system or the ring of Waldeyer because there is still a significant amount of this structure remaining after their removal.
After surgery, there are 3 hard and fast rules in recovery from tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. All three rules are to last for 2 full weeks. The first is that you should not eat any crunchy or sharp edged foods. Second, no rough play, strenuous activity or team sports. Third, take all medications as prescribed. All these rules are to prevent any post-surgical bleeding. After 2 weeks have passed, you or your child can resume a regular diet, engage in any activity you like.
The risks with this surgery include bleeding, infection, voice change, difficulty swallowing and weight gain (over the long-term). We will discuss these with you fully during your office visit. Contact us today to set-up an appointment.