Tonsillectomy is surgery to remove the tonsils. These glands are at the back of your throat. Often, tonsillectomy is done at the same time as adenoidectomy, surgery to remove the adenoid glands.
Your child will be given general anesthesia before surgery. They will be asleep and pain free.
Your child will stay in the recovery room after surgery until they are awake and can breathe easily, cough, and swallow. Most children go home several hours after this surgery.
The tonsils help protect against infections. But children with large tonsils may have many sore throats and ear infections.
You and your child’s doctor may consider a tonsillectomy if:
The risks for any anesthesia are:
The risks for any surgery are:
Your child’s doctor may ask your child to have:
Always tell your child’s doctor or nurse:
During the days before the surgery:
On the day of the surgery:
A tonsillectomy is usually done in an outpatient surgery center. Your child will go home the same day as the surgery. Children rarely need to stay overnight in the hospital for observation.
Complete recovery takes about 1 to 2 weeks. During the first week, your child should avoid people who are sick. It will be easier for your child to become infected during this time.
After surgery, the number of throat infections is usually lower, but your child will still get some.
Adenoid removal is surgery to take out the adenoid glands. These glands are located between the airway you breathe into through your nose and the back of your throat. Often, adenoid removal is done at the same time as a tonsillectomy, surgery to remove the tonsils. Adenoid removal is also called adenoidectomy.
Most adenoidectomies are done on children.
Your child will be given general anesthesia before surgery. This means they will be unconscious and unable to feel pain.
The surgeon will insert a small instrument into your child’s mouth to prop it open.
The surgeon will remove the adenoid glands with a curette (a spoon-shaped medical device) or a microdebrider (a medical device used to cut away soft tissue).
Some surgeons may cauterize the adenoids (seal the tissue using a heated device) instead of removing them.
Bleeding will be controlled with packing material, which will absorb blood, and with cauterization.
Your child will stay in the recovery room after surgery until they are awake and can breathe easily, cough, and swallow. Most patients can go home several hours after this surgery.
Adenoidectomy may be recommended when:
Your child has chronic ear infections that:
Adenoidectomy may be recommended if your child has chronic or repeated bouts of tonsillitis.
The adenoids normally shrink as children reach adolescence. Adults rarely need adenoidectomy.
Risks for any anesthesia are:
Risks for any surgery are:
A week before the surgery, do not give your child any medicine that makes it hard for their blood to clot unless their doctor tells you to. Two of these are ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and aspirin.
Ask your the doctor what medicines your child should take on the day of surgery.
The day before the surgery, your child should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. This includes water.
The day of the surgery, give your child the medicine they are supposed to take with a sip of water.
Your child will go home on the same day as surgery. Complete recovery takes about 1 to 2 weeks.
Most children breathe through their nose better and have fewer and milder sore throats and ear infections after an adenoidectomy.
In rare cases, adenoid tissue that has been removed may grow back. This does not usually cause problems.