The term ‘tonsillectomy’ refers to the surgical removal of tonsils. In 1800s, it was considered to be a popular treatment for recurrent sore throats and respiratory infections. However, these days doctors recommend this surgery only in severe cases. This article provides information about this surgical procedure.
Tonsils, as well as adenoids are lymphoid tissues. While the tonsils are two masses of tissue located on either side of the throat, adenoids are located high in the throat behind the nose and roof of the mouth. They assist our body to form antibodies, thereby providing protection against pathogens. However, these could also become inflamed due to recurrent infections. Also, adenoid and tonsillar enlargement can cause respiratory disorders, severe sleep disorders, and dental abnormalities.
Tonsillectomy, which is the surgical procedure for the removal of tonsils, is advised in severe cases wherein drug therapy doesn’t prove beneficial. Let’s find out how this surgery is performed, along with simple self-care measures that can be followed for a speedy recovery.
Earlier, the removal of tonsils involved the use of scalpel. However, new methods have been introduced for this surgery; these involve the use of scissors and forceps, laser, electrocautery (electrically-heated metal probe), coblation (radiofrequency energy), and microdebrider (cutting tool to shave tissues). Latest research suggests that ‘Microdebrider’ is found to have the least rate of complications (0.7%), followed by coblator (2.8%), and electrocautery (3.1%). However, the method used in a particular surgery would be dictated by nature of the case.
This surgery involves the removal of these lymphoid tissues, after their separation from the subcapsular plane. Scalpel or any of the aforementioned methods are used to remove them, so as to stop the bleeding. The mouth is kept open with the help of a mouth gag. The upper part of the tonsils is held, and they are pulled medially. They are then cut off near the anterior faucial pillar. The bleeding can be brought under control with the help of topical application of thrombin.
The recovery may seem long drawn. After the surgery, the surgeon may prescribe painkillers, as the person may complain of throat pain. The person would be allowed to go home, after full recovery from the anesthesia. A light, cool, and soft diet is recommended. The person may have to refrain from the intake of hot liquids for several days. The person should be fed slowly, to avoid postoperative nausea/vomiting. Also, bland food would be beneficial, as spicy or very sour food may irritate the wound, and delay complete recovery. A good overall diet and complete rest is essential for speedy recovery.
The body can recover completely only if it is well-nourished. Even after following the aforementioned dietary tips, the person may lose weight, as weight loss is very common following the surgery. The person should be restricted from performing any strenuous activity. Any kind of stress may hinder the recovery process and in some cases, it may spur on complications. This is a crucial stage and utmost care needs to be taken. The cost of this surgery will vary from place to place. It may range between USD 4000 and USD 6000.
Tonsil removal is different from tonsil stone removal. Though in some cases, if the stone is very badly infected, then the stone, as well as tonsils may need to be removed simultaneously. In case, after tonsillectomy, the person complains of severe discomfort or any other complications, it is best to consult the surgeon/physician, so that medical help can be provided pronto.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.