Tonsillectomy is a surgical process which is employed to remove the affected tonsils from a person suffering from tonsillitis. The methods adopted for the removal of the tonsils depend on the severity of the tonsillitis and the anatomy of the patient.
Most doctors recommend conducting tonsillectomy in the following scenarios:
- If a patient is affected with serious or “non-responsive-to-medicine” conditions of tonsillitis
- If the person gets infected about six or more times within a year
- In children, if the conditions worsen and hinders their daily anatomical functions
- Again in children, if the tonsils are larger than the regular size
Methods of Tonsillectomy
Medical procedures like blood test, physical examination and review of medical history of patient will be considered before the surgery. Intake of medicines, if any, might be asked to be stopped several days before the surgery.
Tonsillectomy is usually conducted under the influence of anesthesia; hence the process is painless and results in less bleeding, stitching or any other complications. The mouth is propped open using a tool and then the tonsils are removed through the surgery.
Many methods have been utilized for this purpose of which 5 methods are applied generally to perform tonsillectomy and they are:
- Cold Steel Surgery: This is the most common method where surgical blades are used to cut out the tonsils. Bleeding is usually controlled by applying mild pressure on the affected part during the surgery.
- Diathermy: This is a process where electrically induced heat is generated to destroy the tissues around the tonsils and then eventually remove them. Bleeding is automatically controlled since the heat seals the blood vessels at the same time.
- Cobolation: It follows the same procedures as in Diathermy technique except that it uses lesser heat (about 60º C) and is also considered less painful than the former.
- Lasers: Laser beams of high energy are employed to cut off the affected tonsils and simultaneously reseal the blood vessels that were cut.
- Ultrasound: The same procedures as in Lasers technique are followed with the exception of using ultrasound waves instead of laser beams.
The patient may be discharged several hours after the surgery. The time after a tonsillectomy is quite important and certain steps need to be taken to prevent any surgical related complications or the recurrence of tonsillitis. And they are:
- In case of children, a total rest from school is required to prevent any further infections
- Swallowing may be still a problem but make sure you have proper intake of food and liquid
- The teeth must be kept clean in order to prevent any bacterial growth
- Ear ache and slight pain at the site of tonsillectomy is common after the surgery.