Tonsillectomy in Tampa & Spring Hill, FL
Most patients believe that a tonsillectomy, or removal of the tonsils, is only recommended for children, but adults in Tampa, Spring Hill and surrounding areas in Florida may also benefit from the procedure. The board-certified Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgeons of Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists may recommend a tonsillectomy if you suffer from repeated infections, sore throat, and other symptoms.
What Is A Tonsillectomy?
A tonsillectomy is a common procedure in which the tonsils are removed in order to treat sleep apnea, improve one’s breathing, or help those that struggle with chronic tonsillitis.
What Are Tonsils?
Near the back of an individual’s mouth are two small pieces of soft tissue known as tonsils, small pieces of soft tissue that are located on each side of the mouth. As a part of the body’s overall immune system, tonsils are the first line of defense in helping the human body fight off viruses and bacteria.
Benefits Of A Tonsillectomy
While the tonsils may be beneficial for some people for improving their overall immune system, other patients may find that their tonsils are actually doing more harm than good. Some of the benefits of a tonsillectomy include
- Less inflammation in the mouth and throat
- Fewer sore throats for those with frequent discomfort
- Better sleep for patients with breathing problems or sleep apnea
- Minimal complications
How Is A Tonsillectomy Performed?
A tonsillectomy is a simple procedure that is typically completed in less than an hour from start to finish. The patient is first put to sleep with general anesthesia and will remain asleep throughout the entire process. A purpose-built instrument is then placed in the patient’s mouth to keep it open so that there is no chance of damaging the teeth or gums.
Your Suncoast ENT will use a laser or scalpel to carefully cut away the tonsils and remove them entirely. In some procedures, a laser may also be used to cauterize the incision to minimize bleeding. Some patients may also benefit from an adenoidectomy, which can be carried out at the same time. The surgery has been completed once the tonsils and adenoids have been removed, and the bleeding has gone down.
Will My Child’s Immune System Be Weaker If The Tonsils Are Removed?
As stated previously, the tonsils are actually just a minor component of the entire immune system. Studies have shown that children who have had their tonsils and adenoids removed do not actually get more illnesses than those who keep them. The immune system has multiple layers of protection, and this means that other parts of the system can carry out the same job.
Why Do Some Children Need To Have Their Tonsils Removed?
Understanding why some children need to have their tonsils removed is an interesting discussion, as the reasons vary between every single patient. Currently, the most common reason for removing the tonsils is to allow a child to breathe and sleep easier. The mass of soft tissue has a habit of growing slightly faster than other parts of the body, so a child’s airway is at risk for being partially blocked. Our physicians understand that there is no single reason why some children have enlarged or oddly-placed tonsils while others do not.
Even when the breathing passages are partially blocked, both the parents and the children may notice a wide variety of problems. The child may appear to be tired throughout the day, they may have difficulty in school, and they may be constantly irritable. When these breathing issues take place at night, it is referred to as sleep apnea. By removing the tonsils and adenoids, we have the ability to open up their airway while they are both asleep and awake. A tonsillectomy will not prevent the common flu or a sore throat, but it will mean that the child can no longer get tonsillitis. For children that get this infection frequently, removing the tonsils could help them avoid countless medical problems throughout their lifetime.
Preparing For A Tonsillectomy
A tonsillectomy is not as invasive as many other procedures, but we advise parents and children to prepare correctly for this surgery in order to avoid complications. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the procedure, our doctor will most likely request that the child stops eating and avoids all liquids but water in the hours leading up to the surgery. The easiest way to remember this is to stop eating solids and drinking non-water liquids at midnight before the surgery. For patients that do drive, they will need to arrange a ride to and from the office as the anesthesia will make it unsafe to drive for at least a few hours. Our team will keep the patient in the office until they are sure that there are no complications and that the swelling and bleeding have gone down.
Before leaving our office, we schedule a follow-up appointment with our doctor. The follow-up should take place ten to 14 days after the procedure. The intent of the follow-up appointment is to determine if the surgery was successful. Our team will also give you a full list of aftercare instructions. While the neck is still swollen and sore, avoid any solid foods, hot foods, or extremely cold foods. Some of the best options for those first few hours after surgery include broth, ice cream, and pudding. At the very least, patients will want to spend 24 to 48 hours recovering. Even if you feel better, putting your body under strain before that could have adverse effects.
Is A Tonsillectomy Right For Me?
You or your loved one may benefit from a tonsillectomy if you suffer from some of the common signs and symptoms. For many, this includes frequent bouts of tonsillitis or sore throats with no other infections taking place. Patients that have difficulty breathing, wake up out of breath, are groggy throughout the day or have morning headaches may also be good candidates for this procedure. If you have begun to notice any of these signs in yourself or your child, please contact Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists today to setup your own appointment.
As board-certified Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgeons, the physicians of Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists are specially trained in recognizing the benefits of a tonsillectomy for adults and children. To find out if a tonsillectomy is right for you, please contact our Tampa or Spring Hill office to schedule a personal consultation.
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