Tonsil and Adenoid Surgery

The tonsils are two masses of lymphatic tissue located on either side of the back of the throat. Adenoid tissue is located nearby; it can be found higher in the throat, behind the nose. Tonsils and adenoids play an infection-fighting role in your child’s body. Both are believed to fight infection by producing antibodies to bacteria that enter through the mouth and nose. But when tonsils and adenoids become chronically infected or obstruct normal breathing or nasal and sinus drainage, then serious health problems can occur.

The adenoid tissue or (pharyngeal tonsil) is (like the palatine tonsil ) part of a larger accumulation of similar tissue located in the back of the nose and throat that responds to infectious agents, usually viral or bacterial and in so doing enlarges in size . Since the adenoid tissue is located directly behind the nose and above the palate it can not be easily seen on physical examination. Enlargement or (hypertrophy) of this tissue in this location can easily result in obstruction of the nasal airway leading to nasal congestion, chronic nasal infection and obstructive sleep apnea.

The tonsils are part of a larger system of similar tissue in the back of the throat called Waldeyer’s ring. This concentration of similar tissue in this area (called lymphoid tissue) responds to various infections and so doing enlarges in size. In some cases the tissue it self can be the harbinger of the infection. Untreated infections of the tonsils may lead to complications such as rheumatic fever (which can result in heart disease), post streptococcal glomerulonephritis (which can result in kidney failure), Scarlet fever, peritosillar abscesses and deep neck abscesses.

In the immediate post operative period, and for three or four days thereafter, we would encourage you to be very aware of your fluid intake. It is very important that you remain well hydrated throughout your post-operative course. Icy cold, and slush filled fluids with electrolytes such as Gatorade are best, but avoid other sports drinks which have a high sugar content as these my be irritating. A good measure of the adequacy of your hydration is the need for frequent urination. Adequate hydration is key to a quick recovery following your surgery.