Tonsils are part of your immune system. The main function of these tissues is to help filter out germs that get into your body through your nose and mouth. However, these tissues in the back of your throat sometimes become irritated or they contribute to breathing problems during sleep that might include sleep apnea or loud snoring that’s contributing to personal problems. If it’s suspected that your tonsils may need to be removed, you’ll likely be referred to a tonsillectomy doctor in Mission Viejo to determine if this procedure is necessary or right for you given your circumstances.
Why See a Tonsillectomy Doctor?
Having trouble with breathing patterns during sleep is the most common reason for seeing a tonsillectomy doctor in Mission Viejo today. At one time, tonsils were more likely to be removed if they were chronically infected or when children were having repeated issues with sore throats believed to be related to inflamed or irritated tonsils. However, if you’ve had at least 6-7 tonsil infections (tonsillitis) within the past year, this may still be reason enough to have a tonsillectomy.
What Happens During Tonsil Removal?
After your initial examination, it will be determined if tonsil removal is necessary. If it does end up being your best option, there are several different methods a tonsillectomy doctor in Mission Viejo can use to remove tonsil tissue and stop any bleeding that occurs when these tissues are removed. All forms of tonsil removal are performed under general anesthesia. For this reason, expect to asked to disclose all medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements. The most common tonsil removal methods include:
- Cold knife dissection: Tonsils are taken out with a scalpel and bleeding is stopped with sutures or heat.
- Harmonic scalpel: Ultrasonic vibrations are used to simultaneously perform the necessary cuts and stop the bleeding.
- Electrocautery: Heat is used for removal purposes and to stop the bleeding.
- Radiofrequency ablation: Tonsil tissue is dissolved with a combination of saline and low-temperature radiofrequency.
Oftentimes, nearby structures called adenoids are also removed when tonsils are taken out. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes to complete a tonsillectomy.
How Do You Recover?
Immediately after tonsil removal, you’ll be observed until the anesthesia wears off. If you are an adult having this procedure, it’s important to have someone available to drive you home after you are alert enough to safely leave the facility where the procedure is done. Generally, it’s advised that anyone having tonsils removed plan to rest and take it easy for about a week after surgery. Strenuous activities should also be limited for a few weeks since it takes about a month for tissues to completely heal.
It’s also common to experience discomfort for a short period of time after having your tonsils removed. A tonsillectomy doctor in Mission Viejo can minimize this issues by recommending appropriate medication. You’ll also be able to ease discomfort as you heal by sticking to soft and/or cool foods like ice cream, mashed potatoes, broth, and smoothies. But avoid spicy foods and report any unusual discomfort that’s not going away to your doctor.