Tonsils and Tonsillectomies

 girl holding throat

With the end of school and the summer nearly here, most children and parents are making plans to visit the beach, go to camp, or head out on a family vacation. However, for children dealing with enlarged tonsils or bouts of tonsillitis, the summer might be the time of year to be thinking about a tonsillectomy because recovery can take up to ten to fourteen days.

Tonsils

Tonsils are the two mass of tissue located in the rear of the throat. Tonsils are part of the lymphatic system and produce a type of disease-fighting white blood cell. This means that they help to fight infection and defend against bacteria and viruses that may enter through the mouth. The immune system function of tonsils is most active before puberty, making it more vulnerable to infection. Therefore, tonsillectomies are very common in younger children.

Tonsillectomy

A tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils and may be done for a variety of different reasons, including recurring tonsillitis (or inflammation of the tonsils), complications of enlarged tonsils, bleeding of the tonsils, or infection that does not respond to antibiotics.

Enlarged Tonsils

Tonsils may be naturally enlarged or can become so due to frequent infections. Enlarged tonsils can cause symptoms and complications that cannot be ignored. A child suffering from enlarged tonsils may experience: difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, snoring, loud open-mouthed breathing, and disrupted breathing during sleep. Disrupted breathing during sleep, or sleep apnea, often leads to daytime sleepiness, crankiness, and is sometimes connected to hyperactivity.

Surgery

Removal of the tonsils, and sometimes the adenoids, might be recommended if a patient is experiencing recurring tonsillitis or negative side effects from enlarged tonsils. This surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure and is usually routine.

We at Plymouth Ear, Nose and Throat are here to help! Please call us at 508-746-8977 to schedule your appointment today.