The tonsils and adenoids are lymphoid tissues, similar to the lymph nodes found in the neck, which may swell during upper respiratory infections. The tonsils are usually visible in the back of the throat, whereas the adenoids are tucked behind the roof of the mouth, at the back part of the nasal passage. Although the tonsils and adenoids serve to fight infection in the throat and nasal areas, they themselves can become infected. Enlarged or chronically infected tonsils or adenoids may cause recurrent sore throat, difficulty breathing through the nose, snoring, sleep apnea, bad breath, recurrent sinusitis, ear infections, or difficulty swallowing. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are surgical procedures performed to remove the tonsils and adenoids for one or more of these reasons.
For most patients, tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy is performed on an outpatient basis. The patient arrives at the hospital the day of surgery, has the procedure, and goes home later the same day. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The procedure is performed through the mouth, so that there are no cuts or scars on the face or neck. A special device is used to hold the mouth open. The tonsils may be removed either with electrocautery (the electric knife) or an ablation wand. The adenoids are removed with a special device called a curette or an ablation wand.
Once the procedure has been completed, the anesthesia team will awaken the patient. The patient will then spend roughly one to one and-a-half hours in the recovery room. Patients having tonsils removed will then spend at least three to four hours in the hospital to monitor for bleeding and pain control. Patients having just adenoidectomy are discharged as soon as they are fully awake and comfortable.
After the procedure, a number of steps will need to be taken as the healing process unfolds:
Diet: The throat pain most experience after surgery will greatly reduce the desire to eat or drink. It is most important that you drink plenty of fluids following surgery to avoid dehydration. Additionally, it is recommended one sticks to a soft diet for one to two weeks after the procedure
It is best to avoid strenuous activity for two to three weeks following surgery. Any strenuous activity carries with it a risk of raising blood pressure, possibly leading to bleeding.
To find out more about our Tonsillectomy service, visit Dr. Friedman’s office locations at 7600 E Camelback Road, Suite #7, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 and 903 N. Beeline Highway, Suite A, Payson, Arizona 85541, or book an appointment by calling 480-664-0125 today.