and adenoid disease remains one of the most common reasons to
visit an ENT doctor. The tonsils and adenoids are comprised of
lymphoid tissue and have no true function in the body. The tonsils
are located in the back of the throat, while the adenoids are
located in the very back of the nose. They were once thought to
provide self defense to the body, lessening infection. We now
know that removing this tissue has no effect on the immune system.
the tonsil and adenoids may become infected. The usual culprits
are Strep, Staph and other bacteria commonly found in the mouth.
Most infections resolve quickly with antibiotics. Some children
and adults will develop recurrent infections, which lead to too
many missed school and work days. When an individual has had 4-6
infections in a single year, consideration may be given to tonsillectomy
and adenoidectomy. Surgery may also be considered if 3-4 infections
a year have occurred for several years running.
tonsils and adenoids become markedly enlarged, difficulty breathing
may be encountered. This especially evident at night. Some children
develop inability to breathe through their noses and become chronic
mouth breathers. Loud snoring with breaks in breathing is characteristic
of enlarged tonsils and adenoids in children. Should you note these
symptoms in your child, evaluation is necessary, as chronic changes
in the lungs and heart may occur from persistent obstruction.
Behavioral changes may also be noted, such as poor attention span
and poor performance in school.
and adenoidectomy is performed on an outpatient basis. The surgery
typically takes 30 to 45 minutes to perform. The recovery period
is 7-14 days. Children under the age of 4 are usually observed
overnight in the hospital. Adults will usually miss 10 to 14 days
of work following tonsillectomy.
surgery is often performed using coblation or radio frequency
current. This method has been shown to decrease post-operative
recovery, especially in children.