Tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the tonsils. The tonsils are two small glands located in the back of the throat that help to fight infection. Tonsils produce certain types of disease-fighting white blood cells. Therefore, the tonsils are believed to act as the immune system's first line of defense against bacteria and viruses that enter your mouth. This function may make them particularly vulnerable to infection and inflammation. Tonsils usually shrink as age increases. If they do not shrink it leads to obstructive sleep apnea and difficulty in swallowing
How it is performed
A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils, which are located at the back of the throat. The procedure is usually done under general anesthesia, which means the patient will be asleep during the surgery.
Here is a general overview of how a tonsillectomy is performed:
- The patient is given general anesthesia, and a breathing tube may be inserted to help the patient breathe during the surgery.
- We use a special instrument to hold the patient's mouth open and to move the tongue out of the way.
- The tonsils are then removed using one of several techniques. The most common technique involves using a scalpel or cautery (a tool that uses heat) to cut or burn away the tonsils. Another technique involves using a laser to remove the tonsils.
- Once the tonsils have been removed, a suction device may be used to remove any blood or debris from the area.
- The patient is then moved to a recovery room where they are monitored for a period of time before being discharged.
Why is the surgery done
Here are some reasons why a tonsillectomy might be recommended:
- Chronic or recurrent tonsillitis: If you have frequent bouts of tonsillitis, your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy to prevent future infections.
- Enlarged tonsils: Enlarged tonsils can cause difficulty breathing, especially at night. A tonsillectomy may be recommended if enlarged tonsils are causing significant breathing problems.
- Sleep apnea: In some cases, tonsillectomy may be recommended as a treatment for sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing stops and starts during sleep.
- Cancer: Tonsillectomy may be recommended as part of treatment for certain types of throat cancer.
What to expect post surgery
After a tonsillectomy surgery, it is normal to experience some discomfort and pain in the throat area. It is important to rest and avoid strenuous activities for several days after the surgery to allow your body time to heal. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids and to avoid alcohol and tobacco products, which can delay healing and increase the risk of complications. some things to expect during the recovery period:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Bad breath
- Medications & follow up appointments for monitoring
Risks associated with the surgery
As with any surgical procedure, Tonsillectomy does carry some risks. Here are some of the potential risks and complications are::
- Allergic reactions to Anesthesia
- Breathing dificulties