Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy (T&A) are surgeries that remove the small glands on each side of the throat or tonsils, and at the top of the throat behind the nose or adenoids. A tonsillectomy is commonly referred to as “getting your tonsils out,” a surgery to remove the tonsils when a patient has tonsillitis or frequent infections that won’t go away even with the use of antibiotics. Sometimes only surgery can fully treat the patients in this case. 

It is also done to remove both the tonsils and the adenoids when a patient has both breathing and swallowing problems. Because the surgeon can reach the tonsils and adenoids simply by opening the patient’s mouth, incisions or cuts are no longer needed on the outside of the skin. On the other hand, an adenoidectomy is a surgery to remove the adenoids when a patients has had breathing problems or ear and sinus problems that antibiotics can’t affect.

Before and Surgery

Some patients get their sleep medication through a “space mask” that carries air mixed with medication. The patient may choose a favorite scent to flavor the air flowing through the mask as it helps with calming younger patients. There are no shots or needles used while the patient is still awake. Older patients are given the option between getting their medication through the mask, or directly into a vein through an intravenous (IV) line.

Patients may need a blood test before the surgery to see if he or she has any increased risk for bleeding so the surgeon can adjust accordingly.

The Surgery

T&A requires general anesthesia to make the patient sleep before the surgery begins.

The surgeon will open the patient’s mouth to remove the tonsils and adenoids. Just as may happen after a visit to the dentist, the patient’s jaw muscles may be sensitive afterward. The surgery usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour, but the recovery from anesthesia can take a few hours.

Common symptoms after Surgery

The patient might be prescribed medications after the surgery to lessen the pain.The patient might be prescribed medications after the surgery to lessen the pain.Patients who are younger than 3 years; those who might not drink enough liquids then become dehydrated after surgery; and those at risk of breathing problems after the surgery will stay in the hospital overnight to monitor them.After the T&A surgery, there will be side effects but all of these symptoms are normal:

  • Within the first 24 hours, the patient may have stomachaches and might vomit. The vomit can be slightly blood-tinged but do not be alarmed.
  • For the first few days, the patient will feel a sore throat, and his or her spit might be slightly blood-tinged as well.
  • The patient might have an earache or jaw pain.
  • The patient might have a mild fever. As long as the patient’s mucus is clear and transparent and he or she is still drinking and eating, a low-grade fever is normal.
  • The patient may feel pain from the areas involved in the surgery. Take pain relievers as endorsed by the surgeon.

Dr. Kanwar Kelley is located at Orinda California and if you need Direct Laryngoscopy and Vocal Injection, don’t hesitate to make an appointment (925) 254-6710. He is an experienced physician in many illnesses who can guide your health in the right direction.

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