More about tonsils and their functions

We have a small gland on each side of our throat, which are our tonsils. They fight germs during our childhood. They usually shrink after you are three years old because they become less critical in fighting germs, which implies that the body can fight germs without the help of tonsils. A throat ENT specialist can take them out. Let us see how.

Why should you get them removed?

Tonsillectomy refers to an operation to remove the tonsils. Doctors recommend it only if tonsils do more harm than good. If you have a history of frequent tonsilitis that needs regular antibiotics and leave from school or work, it is a crucial removal indicator.

Secondly, if tonsils become large enough to block your airway, it is time to remove them. It may show up as loud snoring while sleeping with small breaks in your breathing activity. Sometimes, patients develop quinsy disorder where abscess forms around the tonsil due to some infection. Since it is quite unpleasant, people usually prefer to undergo a tonsillectomy to avoid having another one.

Before the operation

You will require leave for about two weeks from school or work. If you suffer from tonsilitis or a chest infection before getting admitted, it is better to inform the doctor and postpone the operation. Similarly, if you have an unusual bleeding problem or this issue runs in your family, it is imperative to tell your doctor.

How is the operation done?

The doctor puts you to sleep under general anesthesia. The ENT surgeon removes the tonsil via your mouth, controls the bleeding, and then wakes you up to shift to a recovery room. It generally takes half an hour to complete the procedure.

How long will I be in the hospital?

We advise our patients to stay in the hospital for one night. If you live nearby, some hospitals can even do the surgery as a day case. In any case, the doctor allows the patient to go home once he starts drinking and eating normally and feels well.

Possible complications

Although tonsil surgery is highly safe, each operation still carries a small risk. Bleeding is the most critical issue. You may rarely need another procedure to stop bleeding. About 2% of children need to repeat hospitalization due to bleeding issues. Most patients settle after taking strong antibiotics. Only 1% of patients may need a second operation to control bleeding. Often adults are at more risk of bleeding than children.

In some rare cases, there is a little risk of a tooth getting chipped or knocked out during the operation, particularly if you have a loose tooth or you wear caps or crowns. Please ensure to tell your doctor without fail to avoid complications.

What to expect after the operation?

After the surgery, you may feel a bit of sickness. You will settle quickly after taking medicine.

You will have a sore throat for about ten days. At least for the first seven days, you need to take painkillers 30 minutes before taking meals. Taking aspirin can make you bleed, so don’t take it.

After a tonsil operation, if you provide painkiller drugs to your child, do not offer more than your doctor’s prescription. Eat regular food to heal your throat and help the pain. Drink a lot of water and only take non-spicy and bland food. You can also use chewing gum to control pain.

It is also customary to have sore ears because your ear and throat have commonly linked nerves. It does not imply that you have an ear infection.

As your throat heals, it is normal for it to appear white. You may also observe small threads in your throat. Doctors use these threads to control bleeding during the operation. They always fall off automatically.

If you have not been eating correctly, you may develop a throat infection. You may get a fever, and a foul smell may come from your throat. In such a case, get in touch with your general physician or hospital.

Both children and adults require a leave of 10-14 days. Ensure to take full rest away from smoke and crowded places. Stay away from people having a cold or cough. You may also experience tiredness for a few days.