Your tonsils and adenoids are located in the back of your throat and are very similar to lymph nodes.
Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can cause obstructive sleep apnea, which affects breathing during sleep. This, along with frequent throat and ear infections, may require surgery to remove the tonsils and/or adenoids.
Symptoms can vary from patient to patient but typically include: Fever, Sore Throat, Red, swollen tonsils, Swollen lymph nodes in the neck area, Tonsils with white or yellow coating.
Over the counter treatments, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and lozenges are often recommended for immediate pain relief. Those who suffer from recurrent infections of the tonsils may require a tonsillectomy-- a common ENT surgical procedure.
A tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils. This procedure is often recommended for children who suffer from recurrent sore throats or strep infections. A tonsillectomy may also be performed for sleep-related breathing disorders that involve enlarged tonsils and adenoids, such as sleep apnea.
Surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes approximately 20 minutes. In most cases, patients are released a few hours after surgery to recover at home.
Recovery from a tonsillectomy is different for each child. Typically, patients can expect moderate pain in the throat, ears and jaw during the recovery period, which takes up to 10 days before a child returns to a normal diet and activity level.
An adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoids, which are soft tissue masses similar to the tonsils but located behind the nose. An ENT doctor may recommend an adenoidectomy if a patient suffers from breathing disorders, chronic nasal congestion, or repeated ear infections.
Surgery is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes about 10-15 minutes. In most cases, children return to school in two days. However, if adenoidectomy is combined with tonsillectomy, recovery may take 10 to 14 days.
Pain after surgery is minimal and can be managed with acetaminophen if necessary. Children usually resume their regular diet within one day of surgery.