Is tonsillectomy the right option?

The surgical procedure to remove tonsils is known as tonsillectomy. This procedure is considered gold standard, to cure recurrent and chronic tonsillitis. The general criteria for tonsillectomy that most Ear, Nose and Throat professionals, including the ENT specialist in Lahore consider is: three episodes in the last three years, five episodes of tonsillitis in the last two years, or seven cases in the last one year. Read on to know what more can tonsillectomy help to treat:

What other medical problems can tonsillectomy treat?

Tonsillectomy is the treatment of choice for chronic and recurrent tonsillitis. Additionally, it is helpful in cases of snoring and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition whereby the patient stops breathing for small periods of time during sleep. If the tonsils bleed frequently due to persistent infection, healthcare professionals opt for a tonsillectomy procedure. Similarly, in cancer of the tonsils, it is best to treat with tonsillectomy followed by radio or chemo therapy depending on the grading and staging of the tumor. Breathing problems pertaining to swollen tonsils are also relieved by tonsillectomy.

Who needs tonsillectomy?

While the procedure is frequently performed in children, it is not uncommon in adults. It is an option for whoever experiences chronic disease of the tonsils.

Enlarged tonsils contribute to sleep apnea, which in turn causes restless sleep. In adults, this results in chronic tiredness and lethargy with daytime sleepiness. In children, sleep apnea is a major trigger of hyperactive state with fidgety behavior during the day as well as disrupted hormones contributing to obesity. Tonsillectomy, in this select group of patients results in improvement in sleep quality, energy levels and quality of life.

According to research data, adult tonsillectomies decrease the frequency of hospital visits and the incidence of sore throat. Canadian Medical Association Journal found in 2013 that the percentage of people who visited the healthcare provider for sore throat was 4 percent in adults with tonsillectomy, compared to 43 percent in those without tonsillectomy.

Tonsillectomy is the go-to procedure for adults whose tonsillitis no longer responds to antibiotics as the bacteria develop resistance to the drugs. Similarly, people who are allergic to antibiotics can also choose to undergo the procedure.

What to expect after tonsillectomy?

The procedure of tonsillectomy is over in an hour; however, complete recovery taken about four weeks. Patients are discharged either the same day or the next. Compared to children, the adults have a longer recovery period. For two weeks, patients have to stay away from school and work. During this time, they should use over-the-counter pain medication and eat easy to swallow food.

The commonest complication of tonsillectomy is post-surgical bleeding. The risk of this is highest in the week or so after the procedure and it is the time during which the patient must be most careful.

Misconceptions about tonsillectomy

Most people think tonsillectomy means no more sore throats for them. Unfortunately, people can still get sore throat and infection but the frequency of these infections is greatly reduced. Whether or not one qualifies for tonsillectomy can be determined by consultation with a seasoned ENT professional like ENT specialist in Karachi

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