What is Tonsillectomy?

To understand tonsillectomy, one first needs to know, what are tonsils? Tonsils are tissue pads situated at the back of your throat. They are glands, which are oval in shape and placed side by side.

Tonsillectomy is a surgical process, which involves the removal of tonsils.

Why is Tonsillectomy Done?

Tonsillectomy is performed mainly for three reasons-

  • It is performed for the treatment of infected and swollen tonsils. This condition is called tonsillitis. Patients suffering from tonsillitis experience sever pain in the glands, which hinders their food and liquid intake.
  • This procedure is also performed to treat patients who have a problem with breathing. This disorder in breathing, which especially acts up when you are asleep leading to sleep apnea, is due to enlargement of the tonsils.
  • In very rare cases this procedure is performed to stop the bleeding of the tonsils.

What are the Benefits of Tonsillectomy?

  • The tonsillectomy procedure helps both adults and children to get rid of chronic infection which affects the tonsils. Thus its saves them from the hassle of consuming medicines and the constant pain and fever.
  • The procedure cures sleep apnea in both adults and children.
  • Tonsils are pads of tissue, thus there is a risk that they can become malignant. The development of Lymphoma or Carcinoma is highly possible in case of both children and adults. Removal of the tonsils will prevent the risk of this mortal disease.

What is the Cost of Tonsillectomy?

Being a small procedure, tonsillectomy cost up to Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. It is affordable. 

Are there any alternatives of tonsillectomy?

Tonsillectomy essentially has 4 alternatives-

  • Antibiotics are being used to treat infection of the tonsils for a very long time.
  • Undergoing the procedure can also be prevented by adopting homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic kits have been made, which help in the reduction of the inflammation and cure the infection through herbs.
  • For some patients adopting naturopathic methods reduces their infection, thus preventing them from getting operated. These methods include; following a healthy diet, body cleansing through a relaxing massage, exercising and hydrotherapy.
  • One of the most recently developed alternative to tonsillectomy is a procedure called Somnoplasty. This technique involves the shrinking of the tonsils with the help of minute needle electrodes. The electrodes create an energy wave, which results in the burning away of tissue and cells. This causes the swollen tonsil to shrink automatically.

What is the duration of tonsillectomy?

The surgical procedure takes approximately 30 minutes – 1 hour.

What is the type of anaesthesia used?

General Anaesthesia- Tonsillectomy involves the use of general anaesthesia, so that the patient is asleep during the entire procedure. Once the procedure is done, the anaesthesiologist gives the patient some drugs to help him gain back consciousness.

What are the risks of tonsillectomy?

Although this surgery is very simple, it does involve certain risks. They are-

  • The anaesthesia given during the surgery may lead to short termed side affects like a headache, vomiting, sore muscles and nausea.
  • There may be swelling of the tongue and the roof of the mouth for sometime after the surgery. This may lead to problematic breathing.
  • In some cases, acute bleeding may occur during the surgery; this creates complications and requires additional treatment, which may prolong your stay in the hospital.
  • Sometimes, there may be bleeding after the surgery. This can happen if there is a rupture in the surgery wound. A surgery is generally conducted to stop the bleeding. This emergency surgery proves to be more risky than a planned and scheduled one.
  • The wound after the surgery becomes susceptible to infection. If the patient gets infected he has to be treated efficiently.

How should I prepare for the tonsillectomy?

It is important that you acquire all the essential information about the procedure from your physician and take the necessary steps for full recovery, before and after the surgery.

  • You need to know about the various medicines that you will be given and if you are allergic to any one of them. It is also important that you know, if you have any bleeding disorders or are susceptible to a reaction against anaesthetics.
  • Make sure that you do not consume aspirin sometime before the surgery.
  • You cannot take in any kind of food after midnight on the day the surgery is scheduled.
  • It takes a minimum span of 10 days and maximum two weeks for full recovery. Make sure you get rest during this time.

What can I expect during the tonsillectomy?

As the surgery is done under the influence of general anesthesia, you will not experience any sort of pain or discomfort during the procedure.

What should I expect after the tonsillectomy?

It is generally after the procedure, when one gains back consciousness that some amount of throat pain is experienced. For some patients pain may also occur in the ear, nose or jaw. The pain is controlled through medication and pain killers, a healthy diet and a lot of rest.

What are the precautions after the surgery?

  • It is essential that you ask a friend or someone from the family to give you a ride back home, as general anesthesia takes some time to wear off.
  • Take the dosage of medication given to you on time.
  • Take rest. Although the surgery is a very small one, it is essential that you give your body some respite after the procedure.