Your doctor has recommended that you - or your child - undergo surgery to remove you or your child's tonsils. But what does that actually mean?
Your tonsils are located in the throat at the back of your mouth - one on either side of the uvula. Together, your tonsils work to help fight infection entering the body through the mouth. They are part of your immune system.
Occasionally tonsils themselves become infected. This condition is called tonsillitis.
During an attack of tonsillitis, the tonsils can become inflamed and can cause fever and body aches. In addition, tonsillitis can increase the chance of other complicating illnesses, including:
Enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck.
Enlargement of the tonsils causing difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Recurrent bronchitis. And other conditions caused by infection.
In most cases, a doctor will recommended the surgical removal of tonsils only when tonsillitis becomes chronic and begins to interfere with daily life.
Luckily, in most people, the immune system is more than able to compensate for the loss of the tonsils and having them removed will not in any way weaken you. You should make sure you have spoken to your doctor about the particular reasons behind his or her recommendation.
And remember, the final decision is up to you. No one can force you to undergo a surgical procedure against your will.
Next, the surgical team will pack the back of the throat with cotton or other material to absorb blood and prevent it from escaping down the back of the throat.
An instrument called a retractor will be used to hold the tongue.
Using a clamp, the surgeon will pull the tonsils toward the middle of the mouth.
Next, the tonsils are cut free by tightening a wire loop around each of their bases.
Finally, when the bleeding has lessened, the team will remove the packing and the breathing tube.
Depending on the age of the patient and the size of the tonsils, fine sutures may be used to close the blood vessels feeding the tonsils.
No bandage or other covering is required.