Tonsillectomy – Preparing for Procedure till Recovery

The two tiny glands which are present at the back of your throat are called as tonsils. Tonsils are the house of white blood cells which help us fight infection, but sometimes they themselves become infected. Tonsillectomy is the surgery which is performed to remove tonsils.

Tonsillitis – What is it? 

The infection of tonsils which causes sore throat and makes them swell is called Tonsillitis. If you face problem of tonsillitis on frequent basis, you might need to get Tonsillectomy performed. The most common cause of tonsillitis is viral inflection which includes adenovirus, coronavirus, influenza, rhinovirus and respiratory syncytial virus. It is also caused by Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, or HIV.

Normally viruses enter the body through the mouth and nose. The white blood cells present within the tonsils destroy these viruses by producing inflammatory cytokines such as phospholipase A2. This can also give you fever. But if the tonsils are infected, they will not be able to fight this infections and hence give you sore throat. This condition causes tonsillitis.

Who should perform Tonsillectomy? 

Tonsillectomy is normally performed in children than in adults. But, sometimes adults may also face problems with tonsils and may need surgery for that. This surgery should be performed if you constantly face problem of tonsillitis and strep throat. If you have more than six cases of tonsillitis in a year, you should ask your doctor if there is need for tonsillectomy surgery. For more information about surgery costs in various cites in india refer here.


Tonsillectomy can also be performed to treat other problems like:

  • Loud and frequent snoring

  • Breathing problems due to swollen tonsils

  • If you stop breathing for certain time span during sleeping

  • Sleep apnea

  • Bleeding of tonsils

  • Trouble in swallowing chewy food like meats

  • Cancer of tonsils


Preparing for Tonsillectomy 

Following are the things you should do if you are going to get tonsillectomy performed

  • You need to stop taking any anti-inflammatory medications before two weeks of surgery

  • Informing your doctor about any herbs, vitamins or medications you might be taking is important

  • Fasting post midnight prior to tonsillectomy procedure is necessary

  • The empty stomach reduces risk of nauseous felling from anesthesia

  • You should not drive after the surgery, so you need to do necessary arrangement to drive you home after the surgery

  • You will have to stay home for about a week post surgery


Tonsillectomy- Procedure 

There are varied ways in which tonsillitis is removed. The most common method used is cold knife or steel dissection. In this procedure, the surgeon will remove tonsils with the help of scalpels. 

Another common method used is burning the tissue away by a process called cauterization. Ultra sound waves (Ultrasonic vibration) is also used in some tonsillectomy operations. 

Tonsillectomy surgery usually take about half hour. You will be given anesthesia during this surgery; regardless of any method used. So you will not feel any pain during the surgery. Your blood pressure and heart rate will be continuously monitored by the medical staff after you wake up. Most people are discharged from the hospital the same day after the surgery.


Recovery after tonsillectomy

  • Most people feel some pain in their throat after the surgery

  • Some also feel soreness in throat after the surgery

  • You may also experience some pain in your ears, neck and jaw

  • You need to take rest for three to four days after the surgery

  • Sip water and eat ice pops to stay hydrated without hurting your throat

  • It is good to consume applesauce and warm and clear broth for early recovery

  • You should also consume soft foods, ice creams, oatmeal and pudding for few days after the surgery

  • Avoid crunchy, oily and hard food for some days

  • Taking medications based on doctor’s suggestion helps for quick recovery

  • You will also be given some pain medications.

After the surgery, you should take proper rest and care to ensure fast recovery. You will notice that the frequency of throat infection will be less after the treatment. If you have any problems related to breathing and bleeding from throat, inform your doctor immediately.

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