Tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure to remove tonsils, to treat inflammation and infection of tonsils.
Tonsillitis results from inflammation of tonsils (oval-shaped bags of tissue located at the back of throat on each side) in response to bacteria and viruses caught in them as part of body’s natural immune response.
Most doctors prefer Laser Tonsil Ablation (LTA) technique in which a laser beam generates radiation that cuts and vaporizes the tonsil tissue. This type of laser treatment removes tonsils completely without causing any bleeding.
Tonsillectomy is performed mainly for three reasons-
It is performed for the treatment of infected and swollen tonsils. This condition is called tonsillitis. Patients suffering from tonsillitis experience sever pain in the glands, which hinders their food and liquid intake.
This procedure is also performed to treat patients who have a problem with breathing. This disorder in breathing, which especially acts up when you are asleep leading to sleep apnea, is due to enlargement of the tonsils.
In very rare cases this procedure is performed to stop the bleeding of the tonsils.
Your doctor will recommend you to
Fast for 8 to 10 hours before the surgery
Stop blood thinners
Share your medical history, especially to check bleeding disorders and reaction to anestheisa
Procedure takes approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour, and is performed under general anesthesia.
A device will be placed to keep your mouth open during the length of the surgery.
During the procedure, your doctor will use a handheld Carbon Dioxide (CO2) or KT laser and direct it at the site of tonsil inflammation.
Light energy is converted into heat, which is transferred to the tonsil tissue. This causes the tonsil tissue to shrink and also eliminate crevices in the area that prevent future infections.
The surgery is performed in the outpatient department and you will be able to go home on the same day as the surgery.
Tonsillectomy is performed in the outpatient department and you will be able to go home on the same day as the surgery.
You can expect sore throat and ear pain after the surgery for a few days. The doctor will suggest
Eating frozen and cool food items like ice cream, sherbet, fruits and cold liquids with provide relief during this period.
Avoid crowded spaces and exposure to people with illnesses, as your system is quite prone to infections during this phase.
Consulting again if you notice bleeding in your mouth.
Taking rest. Although the surgery is a very small one, it is essential that you give your body some respite after the procedure.
Risk and Complications
Although this surgery is very simple, it does involve certain risks.
The anaesthesia given during the surgery may lead to short termed side affects like a headache, vomiting, sore muscles and nausea.
There may be swelling of the tongue and the roof of the mouth for sometime after the surgery. This may lead to problematic breathing.
In some cases, acute bleeding may occur during the surgery; this creates complications and requires additional treatment, which may prolong your stay in the hospital.
Sometimes, there may be bleeding after the surgery. This can happen if there is a rupture in the surgery wound. A surgery is generally conducted to stop the bleeding. This emergency surgery proves to be more risky than a planned and scheduled one.
The wound after the surgery becomes susceptible to infection. If the patient gets infected he has to be treated efficiently.
Like any surgery, there are some risks, though very rare, involved with LTA.
Ear or sinus infections
Recurrent sore throat
Change in voice
Regurgitation of food or fluids through nose (very rare)
Discuss the benefits and risks of having your tonsils removed with your surgeon.
The tonsillectomy procedure helps both adults and children to get rid of chronic infection which affects the tonsils. Thus its saves them from the hassle of consuming medicines and the constant pain and fever.
The procedure cures sleep apnea in both adults and children. Tonsils are pads of tissue, thus there is a risk that they can become malignant. The development of Lymphoma or Carcinoma is highly possible in case of both children and adults. Removal of the tonsils will prevent the risk of this mortal disease.
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