Today, most tonsillectomies are done to minimize issues related to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or other sleep and/or breathing-related conditions. The type of tissue that tonsils are made from are similar to lymph nodes and covered by mucosal tissue. There are pits found in each tonsil, called crypts. Tonsils are one element of the lymphatic system, whose purpose is to combat infections. Even so, removing the tonsils does not seem to significantly impact one’s vulnerability to infection. If you have problems with your tonsils, you may need the care of a tonsillectomy surgeon in Mission Viejo.
An Initial Examination
Tonsils aren’t useless. It’s believed they provide protection against viruses and bacteria that get into your mouth by serving as a sort of first line of defense before these harmful substances get any further into your system. For this reason, a tonsillectomy specialist in Mission Viejo usually performs a thorough examination to determine if removal of your tonsils is necessary, or if you may benefit instead from non-surgical treatments. Typically, a tonsillectomy is likely to be recommended if:
- You’ve had 6-7 or more tonsil infections within a year
- You are not responding well to the use of antibiotics
- You have enlarged tonsils that are contributing to breathing, swallowing, or sleeping difficulties
Preparations for a Tonsillectomy
A tonsillectomy specialist in Mission Viejo is trained to perform surgery on both children and adults with tonsils that need to be removed. Child may need more preparation time in order to ensure they are calm and relaxed prior to surgery. With all patients, it’s important to disclose all medications that are being taken, including over-the-counter ones and supplements. Also, any bleeding disorders should be discussed. Even if you do not have a bleeding condition, you’ll likely be asked to avoid aspirin and similar anti-inflammatory drugs prior to surgery to reduce possible bleeding complications. Plan for taking about 2 weeks for recovery post-procedure. Children may need less time than adults to recover.
Most tonsillectomies performed today are often done in a way that minimizes discomfort while also removing tissues with improved precision. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, so you or your child won’t feel anything during surgery. The tonsils are then removed in a way that’s appropriate for the patient. Possibilities include scalpel tissue removal or the use of high-energy heat or sound waves with specialized instruments.
It’s common for tonsils to be removed along with adenoids. Located above the soft roof of the mouth, these glands are similar to tonsils and subject to similar infections. However, a tonsillectomy can also be performed as a standalone procedure. It’s usually an outpatient procedure, but there are times when an overnight stay may be necessary.
Ice cream is among the soft foods you’ll be able to eat after receiving treatment from a tonsillectomy specialist in Mission Viejo if your tonsils do need to be removed. Pudding, applesauce, and other non-spicy and easy-to-swallow foods are often recommended as well. Pain medications may be needed immediately after surgery if you have any lingering discomfort, although this is normal and usually goes away once tissues heal.