Most people think that tonsil problems only happen to young children and teenagers. But, many adults also have medical problems, such as tonsillitis or strep throat, associated with their tonsils that cannot be controlled or cured with medications. Your tonsils are groups of tissues that lie at the back of your throat. Their function is to fight infection, but if they become infected and are removed, there is no adverse impact on your overall health. If you have had frequent episodes of strep throat within a short period of time, usually 12 to 24 months, your doctor may refer you to a Victorville General Surgeon for a tonsillectomy, a medical procedure to remove your tonsils. In addition to strep throat, a tonsillectomy can help treat other tonsil ailments.
Medical Reasons for a Tonsillectomy
A general surgeon may recommend that you have your tonsils removed if you are suffering with any form of tonsillitis, such as inflamed or infected tonsils; breathing problems due to swollen tonsils; trouble swallowing certain chewy foods; bleeding from your tonsils; snoring frequently and loudly when laying down, which can develop into sleep apnea; or a diagnosis of precancerous tonsils.
Most tonsillectomies are performed as outpatient procedures in a clinic or hospital. The patient is given a general anesthesia and will not feel any discomfort or pain during surgery. The patient can go home after being discharged from the recovery room. An overnight stay in the hospital may be required if the patient needs to be monitored for breathing or heart-related conditions.
The surgeon will determine the best method of removing the tonsils based on the patient’s personal situation. One method, Cold Knife Dissection, removes the tonsils with a scalpel. Cauterization is a method where the tonsils are burnt away. Ultrasonic Vibration is another method that uses sound waves to remove the tonsils. Regardless of the method selected, the patient’s mouth is held open so the surgeon has access to the tonsils. Dissolvable stitches may be used to prevent bleeding. Without any complications, the operation is completed in less than an hour.
The normal recovery period for adults is approximately two weeks. The general surgeon will discuss all post-operative instructions with the patient regarding bed rest, pain medications, dietary restrictions, resuming normal activities, returning to work, potential side effects, and follow up office appointments.