This procedure involves the removal of the tonsils.
What are tonsils?
Tonsils are part of the lymphoid system and help to fight infection in childhood. There is tonsil tissue in the back of the nose and throat. In adulthood, the role of the tonsils in fighting infection becomes less important.
What causes tonsillitis?
Most infections are caused by bacteria or viruses and sometimes both. If your doctor suspects a bacterial infection then antibiotics may be of benefit. Your doctor will also prescribe painkillers and mouthwashes to help manage the symptoms. If you experience several recurrences of tonsillitis, then you may consider a tonsillectomy procedure. There are other reasons to have the tonsils removed, such as abscesses or chronic sore throats.
Do tonsils really need to be removed?
If you are having recurring episodes of tonsillitis or abscesses around the tonsils (known as Quinsy), it may be suggested that you undergo a procedure called tonsillectomy. Tonsillectomy involves removing the tonsils and is very successful at preventing sore throats. Other reasons for tonsillectomy include biopsy for suspicious swelling of the tonsil and also for people who snore loudly.
Sometimes infections related to the tonsils will get better on their own, and surgery may not be recommended. Your doctor will offer advice regarding the role of surgery in your case.
What does the procedure involve?
Tonsillectomy is typically performed as a day case procedure. You should arrange 2 weeks away from work and somebody should stay with you for at least 24 hours following the operation. Surgery takes place with a general anaesthetic and is performed through the mouth. After the surgery, you will be observed in the hospital and likely discharged the same day.
Tonsillectomy can be sore and tender during recovery, but you will be provided with painkillers to manage your symptoms. Antibiotics are not normally required. You may experience earache afterward, but this will settle as the throat heals.