TONSILS SURGERY (TONSILLECTOMY)
What are Tonsils?
Your tonsils are lymph glands in the back of your throat that work as germ fighters for your body. The problem is that sometimes germs like to hang out there, where they cause infections. In other words, instead of fighting infections, the tonsils get infected. While this infection of the tonsils is far more common in children, it can turn into a problem for any age group.
In adults, tonsils are far less likely to be infected. As we grow, throat infections, generally, are less common. For some, this is true because they have had their tonsils removed, but it is also normal to grow out of these problems with age. For adults, it is far more likely that tonsils can become an issue when they are large enough that they partly occlude the airway or throat, causing sleep apnea. Rarely do adults require a tonsillectomy due to tonsillitis; a breathing problem is much more likely to be the diagnosis that results to surgery.
Issues with the tonsils often include issues with the adenoids. The adenoids can be removed at the same time as the tonsils, in a procedure known as adenoidectomy
What is Tonsillectomy?
Have you ever experienced tonsillitis? That's when your tonsils become sore and infected. If tonsillitis happens to you a lot, the doctor may recommend you have an operation to remove your tonsils. Or maybe you have really large tonsils that make it difficult for you to breathe at night. That's another reason the doctor may say they should be removed.
The surgery to remove tonsils is known as tonsillectomy (say: tahn-suh-LEK-tuh-mee).
After this operation, children usually don't have as many sore throats. And, if they were having difficulty breathing at night, that problem goes away too.
Before the Tonsillectomy
The night before the operation, you won't be allowed to eat or drink anything after dinner — not even water. This is because your stomach must be empty for the surgery.
You'll pack your suitcase if you're staying overnight in the hospital and bring along anything you want to have with you. If you have a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, bring it. It's great to have something that reminds you of home when you're in the hospital.
You'll probably visit the hospital on the day of your surgery. You'll check in and get a plastic bracelet that has your identity on it. Then, you'll meet the nurses and other hospital staff who will attend to you.
Tonsils are removed in the operating room, so you'll have to be carried in on a gurney. A gurney is like a bed on wheels. When it's time for your operation, you'll get a medicine (called anesthesia) that will enable you fall asleep and keep you from feeling any pain during the operation.
At the course of the surgery, which takes only about 20 minutes, doctors will open your mouth and remove the tonsils. Before you know it, you'll wake up in the recovery room.
You may feel sleepy and dizzy at first, you'll have a sore throat and maybe a slight earache but soon you will feel a lot better
What Happens After?
After your operation, it's vital to drink fluids when you wake up. You should struggle to drink, even if it hurts a bit at first. This will enable you feel better and get home faster. Some children stay in the hospital overnight; others go home the same day as their surgrey.
You will perhaps need to take it easy for a few days to a week or more after the operation. Minor activities would be fine. Drink enough fluid during your recovery. Some doctors allow you eat what you want. Others may recommend that you stick to eating soft foods.
While you're getting better, you'll take drugs to help with pain and make it easier to eat and drink.
After a week or two, you should feel a lot better. You'll be ready to go back to school and play with your friends again. You can tell them all about your tonsillectomy!
Adults usually have a more difficult recovery than children and find the recovery from this surgery to be rather painful. The average adult will need pain medication during the recovery to help treat the pain. Cold fluids can also help reduce the pain in the area, but the adult patient should be aware that the operation is typically much more challenging for adults than children.
The information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by Surjen.com.
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