What is a tonsillectomy?

You may have heard stories – from the older generation – of children having their tonsils removed at any sign of sickness (or even if they didn’t seem so sick). Nowadays doctors are a bit more hesitant to remove the tonsils than they used to be, but it is still an operation that can help provide relief for a few different issues.

What are the tonsils?

There is one tonsil on each side of the throat, and they are way in the back. They are used to protect your body from bacteria and viruses, and are commonly thought of as the immune system’s first line of defense. Because of this, they are especially vulnerable to infection. However, as we grow older, the tonsils do less and less to protect us.

It is no longer just assumed that all children will have to have their tonsils removed, but removal of the tonsils is still recommended in certain cases, for children and adults. A tonsillectomy might help if tonsils are enlarged or bleeding or if a patient has a problem with recurring tonsilitis. A tonsillectomy can also help patients who have difficulty breathing or swallowing, or if they have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.

What happens during a tonsillectomy?

This procedure is done under general anesthesia, in a hospital or a surgical center. The tonsils might be removed the old fashioned way – with surgical tools such as a scalpel – or with radio-frequency energy. You’ll be sent home that same day, with medication to help with pain and swelling in the throat. It typically takes about 10 to 14 days to recover from a tonsillectomy. You’ll be given instructions to follow for your recovery – make sure you take all medication as prescribed, get lots of fluids and lots of rest, and stick to bland foods that are easy to swallow. Avoid crunchy, hard, acidic, and spicy foods.

Are you having difficulty sleeping? It might be related to your tonsils. Lakeside Allergy ENT can diagnose the problem and help you to find a solution. Contact the office in Rockwall, Forney, or Wylie for an appointment. Call (972) 771-5443 today!

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