|Posted on June 23, 2010 at 5:38 AM|
By Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal, ENT Specialist Bangalore
What is a Tonsillectomy?
Tonsillectomy is a procedure done to remove the tonsils situated on the side of your throat.
Though there are many reasons your doctor may advise you to remove the tonsils ,the international guidelines in majority situations are:-
Absolute indications[Compulsory removal]
◦Enlarged tonsils that cause upper airway obstruction, severe swallowing problem[dysphagia], sleep disorders[sleep apnoea], or cardiopulmonary complications[heart -lung problems]
◦Peritonsillar abscess -If a child or adult has had a peritonsillar abscess in the past the recommendation is to remove the tonsils after recovery as there is chance for such severe infections again in the future .
◦Tonsillitis resulting in febrile convulsions[ fits/ seizures]
◦Tonsils requiring biopsy to define tissue pathology as in doubt of cancer or other diseases.
◦3 or more tonsil infections per year despite adequate medical therapy
◦Persistent foul taste or breath [halitosis]due to chronic tonsillitis that is not responsive to medical therapy
◦Chronic or recurrent tonsillitis
◦Unilateral tonsil hypertrophy that is presumed to be neoplastic[cancer]. One sided tonsillar enlargement is especially notorious for harboring diseases such as cancer hence if your doctor finds a one sided enlargement or a suspicious looking tonsil he/ she may recommend removal of the tonsil and histopathological examination [ examination under the microscope]
Is it inadvisable to remove the tonsils?
The tonsils are a vestigeal structure in our body and no harm comes from removal of the tonsils .On the other hand keeping a diseased tonsil with clear cut indications for removal will do more harm to the body.
In certain situations the removal of the tonsils are not recommended.Such situations are:-
Bleeding disorders such as haemophilia
Poor Anaesthesia Risk
During the episode of Acute infection [Ongoing infection with severe pain and fever]
How is tonsillectomy done?
Tonsillectomy is safest done under general anaesthesia[the patient will be sleeping during the procedure].Various techniques may be used to prform a tonsillectomy and you may discuss the modality best suited for you with Dr Sonia.
Techinques of Tonsillectomy
Tonsillectomy can be done by various methods
How long does the procedure take?
Though the actual removal of the tonsils takes only some minutes the whole process including the anaesthesia may take about half an hour to one hour.
When can I / my child go home?
In selected cases tonsillectomy can be done as a daycare procedure, that is you can go home the same day. In other cases you may go home next day morning.
What are the complications of tonsillectomy?
The main complication of tonsillectomy is bleeding and that is why in certain cases doctor may advise you to stay overnight to be on the safe side.
Will I have pain after the procedure?
Some amount of pain will occur after the procedure and Dr Sonia will give you pain killers to take care of it.
What are the precautions after tonsillectomy?
Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal
MBBS MS ENT[AIIMS]
Consultant ENT & Head & Neck Surgery
Sonia & Prateek's ENT Speciality Center,Sahakaranagar, Bangalore
ENT Specialist Bangalore