Signs You May Need Tonsil Surgery

ear nose and throat specialist examining a child's tonsils

Tonsils have a significant role in your immune system. However, tonsils can sometimes become more harmful than beneficial to you. If you experience a severe sore throat, you may start considering having your tonsils removed through a surgery known as tonsillectomy.

Tonsillectomies are mostly experienced at an early age. However, they can also come in your adult life. It is essential to pay attention to some common signs that may indicate you need tonsil surgery. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should consider consulting your ENT doctor for tonsil removal.

Frequent sore throat

Tonsils are frequent in adults who experience recurrent strep throat. This condition can also cause sleep apnea. When you start experiencing recurrent strep throats, you may want to consider having tonsil surgery. However, this sign may vary from patient to patient. Accordingly, you may need to have a one on one with your primary throat specialist first. 

Frequent throat infections

Tonsils may be infected by exposure to viruses and bacteria, a condition known as tonsillitis. Tonsillitis may lead to swellings, throat soreness, inflammation and constant throat pains. Some of the infections may be managed through the use of antibiotics and recommended medications. However, such infections can become chronic. When this happens, you should consider having your tonsils removed.

Enlarged tonsils                      

Swollen tonsils may be a problem you do not want to deal with. If the situation is not as bad, you may want to consider alternative, less invasive treatments. However, if the swelling persists, surgery may be the only solution.

Tonsil stones

Tonsil stones are a rare condition but cannot be ruled out entirely. In some cases, food particles and dead cells may be trapped on your tonsils, leading to tonsil stones. Tonsil stones may be treated through less invasive methods. However, when this does not offer a permanent solution, you may want your tonsils removed.

Trouble sleeping

Swollen tonsils may also lead to sleep apnea. This happens when your upper airway is blocked during sleep time. The result may be difficulty in breathing during sleep, snoring, or lack of sleep entirely.  When this persists for long, you start experiencing fatigue and restlessness. Though not a very common problem, sleep apnea may be an indicator that you need a tonsillectomy.

Cancer of the tonsils

Tonsil cancer is another condition that may force you to have your tonsils removed. The bad news is that you can develop cancer of the tonsils whether you have tonsils or not. According to the CDC, about 70% of cancers related to the oropharynx result from HPV. When this happens, your cancer treatment may involve the removal of the tonsils. As much as it is a rare condition, you should always be on the lookout whenever you feel a mass in the tonsil or experience chronic pains in your throat.

Tonsil surgery for adults vs. children

Is tonsils surgery more painful in adults than in children? The fact is that tonsils surgery is the same in both adults and children. The level of pain may only vary depending on a patient’s endurance. However, adults take longer to recover from the procedure than children. Adults may take up to two weeks to fully recover. This is because the area affected is often larger in adults than in children. Children may only need a week to recover from tonsil surgery.

Regardless of age, you may want to consider using pain medications after tonsil surgery to make the procedure more bearable. Additionally, you may need recovery procedures, such as getting plenty of fluids and eating soft food like pudding to avoid straining the area. The only thing you may have to worry about is bleeding after the removal of tonsils. However, this is not a common complication, and it can only happen when the area is strained, such as when you take very solid food.

The healing process involves tonsillectomy bed healing from the raw muscle bed. After some time, the soft crab falls off. This may take up to a week. This is when you should avoid taking in foods that may scratch the area since bleeding becomes frequent at this period. The bleeding rate after a tonsil surgery may vary from patient to patient. Accordingly, the bleeding period may also vary from minor bleeding that stops after some time to heavy overflows. If the bleeding becomes severe, your specialist may recommend cauterization.

The Bottom Line

Tonsil removal should be the last thing you opt for. If these signs are mild, your throat specialist should recommend less invasive procedures. If you are worried about your tonsils after experiencing any of these signs, consult Vero ENT Associates by calling 772-563-0015.