Tonsillectomy is surgery to remove the tonsils and is often performed along with removal of the adenoid glands (adenoidectomy). While tonsils are helpful in protecting against infections many children born with large tonsils may have frequent sore throats and ear infections.
Tonsillitis is a fairly common problem as tonsils may swell when they become infected. Parents may notice in their child’s throat that the tonsils appear red and swollen and may have a yellow or white coating on them. Other tonsillitis symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Discomfort/pain when swallowing
- Swollen glands
Adults with recurrent tonsillitis may also benefit from a tonsillectomy. Dr. Coppola treats adults who have severe sore throats as their tonsils may be inflamed by bacteria living within them. Constant throat/tonsil infections can lead to repeated courses of antibiotics which may be detrimental. If you are an adult that has persistent and repeated sore throats, schedule a consult with Dr. Coppola to determine if you are a candidate for a tonsillectomy.
WHY IS A TONSILLECTOMY PERFORMED?
Dr. Carl Coppola advises his patients that you should consider a tonsillectomy for your child if:
- Has frequent infections (typically seven or more times in 1 year).
- Has trouble breathing.
- Has abscess or growth on their tonsils.
HOW IS A TONSILLECTOMY PERFORMED?
A tonsillectomy is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. You child will be asleep and feel no pain. A small device is placed in the mouth to hold it open and Dr. Coppola removes the tonsils with a scalpel, a laser or a heated instrument. If indicated, an adenoidectomy is also performed. Most children go home a few hours after surgery and their throat heals naturally.
Yes, it is true nearly everyone experiences pain after a tonsillectomy. Pain is most often in the throat, but it may also be located in the ears, jaw or neck. Dr. Coppola advises the following steps to ease the pain and help in the healing process:
- Pain Medications Precise instructions will be provided by Dr. Coppola on the type, dosage and frequency of pain medication.
- Fluids It is important to get plenty of fluids after surgery. Water and ice pops are good choices.
- Food Bland foods that are easy to swallow, such as applesauce or broth. If tolerated, pudding and ice cream can be added to the diet.
- Rest. Bed rest is important for several days after a tonsillectomy. All strenuous activities — such as running and bike riding — should be avoided for two weeks after surgery. Typically children can return school after the termination of pain medication, resuming a normal diet and sleeping comfortably through the night.
Dr. Coppola is a skilled ENT surgeon who has performed hundreds of tonsillectomies. If you or your child has persistent sore throats, schedule a consultation with Dr. Carl Coppola.