What is Tonsillectomy?
A tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils.A general anesthesia is always used to sedate a child undergoing a tonsillectomy. Adults may require only a local anesthesia to numb the throat.
A very sore throat usually follows a tonsillectomy and may last for several days. This may affect the sound and volume of the person's voice and his or her ability to eat and drink. The person may also have bad-smelling breath for a few days after surgery. There is a very small risk of bleeding after surgery.
Why is Tonsillectomy Done?
A tonsillectomy may be done in the following cases:
- A person has ongoing or recurring episodes of tonsillitis.
- A person has recurring episodes of strep throat in a single year despite antibiotic treatment.
- Abscesses of the tonsils do not respond to drainage or an abscess is present in addition to other indications for a tonsillectomy.
- A persistent foul odour or taste in the mouth is caused by tonsillitis and does not respond to antibiotic treatment.
- A biopsy is needed to evaluate a suspected tumor of the tonsil.
- Especially in children, the tonsils are so large that they affect nighttime breathing, called sleep apnoea.