Tonsillectomy/AdenoidectomyTonsillectomies and adenoidectomies are common and safe procedures. As a matter of fact, tonsillectomy is the second most common pediatric surgical procedure. It is also necessary at times for this procedure to be performed on adults. A tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can help prevent frequent sore throats and ear infections. These procedures are not always performed at the same time. Only one may be needed, sometimes both.
The tonsils are glands located in the back of the mouth on both sides of your throat. As part of the immune system, tonsils help fight infections. The adenoids are located behind the soft palate, the back, muscular section of the roof of your mouth. Adenoids also help fight infections. Behind the uvula, there is a passageway that connects the nose to the mouth. And in this passageway, the eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the nose. These tubes prevent large differences in pressure inside the ear. When your adenoids swell, they become inflamed and can cause blockage of the eustachian tubes. Blockage can cause your middle ear to become filled with pus, causing additional infection and swelling. This can even lead to hearing loss.
Tonsillectomy is generally performed because of repeat occurrences of tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is an infection in the throat that starts with your tonsils. These types of sore throats are usually severe and fever can occur. It hurts to swallow!
Its important to be examined when you have tonsillitis because its can be dangerous if there have been five or more occurrences within one year. And when the illness is not responsive to antibiotic treatment, please see us immediately!
Additionally, if your tonsils get large enough to touch each other you probably have a serious case of tonsillectomy. Also, if there is an abscess surrounding your tonsils, you will see puss filled sacs. This is another cause for attention.
Treatment of tonsillitis and ear infections generally requires antibiotics. If left untreated, tonsillitis could damage organs in your body. A tonsillectomy is an in which the tonsils are removed. Adenoidectomy is the removal of the adenoids. The combined operation is called a T&A. Generally these surgical procedures are performed if antibiotics are unresponsive. If antibiotics do not work to eliminate tonsillitis or ear infection, a tonsillectomy and possible adenoidectomy may be performed. These surgical procedures will help you reduce the number of throat and ear infections.
Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy is performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Campano can remove the tonsils and/or adenoids in many different ways. Traditional surgery requires the use of a scalpel. Some surgeries respond better to a laser. When surgery is complete, bleeding is stopped and the patient is admitted into recovery. Upon awakening, you will be given pain medication. Within a little while, you will be able to go home. Surgery is usually well tolerated although a sore throat is common for the first 5-10 days after surgery. Watch for bleeding. You will initially find it easiest to swallow liquids and cold desert like foods.
The most important thing is to drink liquids, otherwise dehydration can sometimes occur. Solid foods are not as important to take as are liquids for this reason. Also, there may be too much soreness to swallow solids. Stay away from foods which are sour, salty, sharp or hot since this may cause pain and discomfort.
Suggested liquids: Apple juice, grape juice, Hi-C, Gator Aid ,etc.), sodas (you may want to let the “fizz” out first), popsicles, sherbet, apple sauce, Jell-O, pudding.Not Recommended: Solids, orange juice (any citric drink), spicy foods. These are only guides. The important thing is to have your child swallow liquids. Whatever works is the best thing to give. Milk products may increase mucus secretions but if the child will only drink a milk shake and eat ice cream then it is OK to give them.
There is usually not too much bleeding during the operation, but there is always a chance of bleeding when you come home after the operation. The most common time for bleeding after tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy is 4 to 8 days after surgery. Sometimes bleeding may occur in the first 24 hours after the operation. Usually this early bleeding occurs within the first 2 hours. However, bleeding can occur at any time, until everything is healed, which takes about two to three weeks. If this occurs, have the child swallow some ice water. If the bleeding persists, you should go to the Emergency Room for evaluation.
Manage the Pain
The two things that make pain go away are taking liquid Tylenol with Codeine (you will get a prescription to take home with you) and swallowing lots of liquids.
A small fever (100 or 101 degrees) is common after surgery. If it goes above 102, call and we will discuss it. Often, fever goes away in a few days. You may give Tylenol to decrease the fever but DO NOT overdose this medication if you have given Tylenol with Codeine pain medications. Stay away from aspirin, Advil and other non-steroidal pain relievers since they can increase bleeding.
Make sure you are giving the pain medicine often.
What about Antibiotics
Antibiotics after surgery will help the healing process. It will also prevent infection after the surgery. It is very important that you take both antibiotics and pain medications.
You should rest for the first few days. You can be in a car, and they can go with to the store but they will be tired for the first several days. Avoid strenuous activity. You should stay in town for 21 days after surgery in case there is delayed bleeding.
Ask your doctor when you should come back for a checkup; usually the first visit should be made for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.If you have any questions, please call the office or answering service. Dr. Campano or a member of her staff will speak to you or return your call as quickly as possible.