Sometimes children get throat and ear infections over and over again, despite our best efforts. In some of these cases, tonsils and adenoids can be the culprit. Although having your child’s tonsils removed isn't the rite of passage it used to be, it can be necessary.
The tonsils are two areas of tissue that work to prevent infections. Unfortunately, sometimes instead of preventing infections, the tonsils get infected. This causes swelling and pain in the back of the throat. A tonsillectomy may be recommended for children who who get tonsillitis or strep throat a lot. Enlarged tonsils can affect breathing at night, sometimes causing sleep apnea.
Adenoids are 2 smaller lumps of lymph tissue located behind the nose. They can also become swollen when infections occur. Enlarged adenoids can affect the tubes connecting the middle ears and the back of the nose. Removing the adenoids along with the tonsils can improve incidences of ear infections.
Is it Safe?
Anytime a child needs a medical procedure it can be cause for concern for the parents. Tonsil surgery is very safe and only takes about 10 minutes. The child is placed under general anesthesia, so they won't feel anything. The anesthesiologist will monitor your child throughout procedure for any possible complications.
After the surgery, your child will be moved to a recovery room where they will also be closely monitored. When the anesthesia wears off, your child will be encouraged to sip water or ice chips. They may still have an IV in their hand or arm in case extra fluids or medicine is necessary. Your child will be sore after the surgery and given medication to help. Sometimes anesthesia can cause nausea or vomiting, which is normal. Your child may be able to go home the same day as the surgery.
Any kind of surgery can be scary for parents and their children. Tonsil and adenoid removal can increase your child’s quality of life and limit the amount of infections they get each year. Talk to your child’s doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.