Undergoing a tonsillectomy is an inevitable decision for many, who have recurring bouts of fever, caused by infection in the tonsils (Acute Tonsillitis) and who are affected by recursive obstructive sleep apnea, adenoiditis, air way obstruction in the nose, snoring problems, and peritonsillar abscesses. It is performed, only when all other treatment methods fail.
The Surgery Explained
The procedure is quite straightforward. Firstly, the patient is administered general anesthesia, using a combination of a gas and intravenous medication. Once the surgeon has ensured that anesthesia has taken effect, tonsils are removed, by way of the mouth. Then the base of the tonsils will be cauterized or burned to seal the surgical wound and ensure that no infections are contracted from the wound, in the near future.
The whole procedure takes only about 60 minutes. Post surgery, the patient may be hospitalized until anesthesia wears off; after which he/she may be discharged. The patient is advised to rest and sleep at home, with his/her head kept elevated. Application of ice pack to the throat reduces swelling. Soft, cool, and light diet is recommended and hot foodstuffs should be avoided.
Recovery Period For Children
Most of the time, tonsillectomy procedure is preferred for children, as being in the growing phase, they recover faster. Post surgery, the wounds take time to heal. During this time, a liquid intake is recommended, along with total bed rest. In the initial period, there may be some bleeding, due to the surgery, which eventually stops from clot formation.
A dosage of painkillers will help during this period. It is very important that the child is protected from infections during this phase of recovery, as the immune system is compromised for some time after surgery. The scabs from the surgical wound generally fall off after five days. Recovery period for children is about one or two weeks, depending on their health.
Recovery Time For Adults
In case of an adult, recovery is tougher. Recovery period for them, is a bit more extended and it may take more than a month. Mouth pain persists for a month. Like children, adults are administered pain medication early on and a diet comprising cool fluids and soft foods. Patients are recommended not to talk and strain themselves too much. During this time, like in case of children, the immune system has a down time and therefore, patients need to protect themselves from infection.
Ask friends and family to visit after a week past surgery, when the immune system has recovered a bit. Two weeks of absolute bed rest is recommended. Once the surgery wound heals, only a mild pain in the throat persists. The throat pain may be reduced by application of ice packs. So, adults undergoing this surgery should take leave from work, for at least two weeks.
Knowing the recovery period can help you schedule the surgery accordingly and make adequate arrangements for that period. Make sure you rest adequately and take all the precautions, that are recommended by your doctor.
Disclaimer: This article is for reference purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a certified medical practitioner.