Tonsillitis is a process of infection in which patients experience throat pain and swollen tonsils. Doctors first try to treat tonsillitis using medical therapy. However, in some cases, doctors will recommend a tonsillectomy. A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed. It is used to treat serious tonsil infections or recurring tonsil infections that have not responded to medical therapy.
This procedure may also be used to treat sleep apnea or other conditions associated with enlarged tonsils. The surgeon will provide pre-operative instructions to help patients to prepare for the procedure. A tonsillectomy is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and nearly all patients may go home on the day of the procedure. Following the procedure, the patient is taken to the recovery area for observation. Because everyone is different, recovery times vary by individual. Sometimes, a patient may need to stay in the hospital overnight.
Like any surgical procedure, a tonsillectomy has risks to consider. Risk factors include possible allergic reaction to anesthesia, swelling of the tongue and roof of the mouth, particularly during the first few hours following the procedure, bleeding during surgery, bleeding during recovery, and infection. While a tonsillectomy is generally considered a safe procedure, patients may experience some symptoms as they are recovering. Common post-operative symptoms include difficulty swallowing, vomiting, fever, throat pain, or ear pain. A less common side effect is bleeding from the nose or mouth. Patients who experience any bleeding at all should contact their surgeon immediately.
Sometimes, a doctor may recommend removing obstructive adenoid tissue as well during a tonsillectomy. Current research suggests that the removal of the adenoid tissue and tonsils at the same time may reduce the risk of recurring infections and may also limit the need for additional surgery.
Dr. Camysha Wright, MD PA is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. She is a member of the AMA and the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.
Call (954) 368-8519 for an appointment.