|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Alternative Names Return to topTonsils removal
Definition Return to top
Tonsillectomy is surgery to remove the tonsils. These glands are at the back of your throat. Often, tonsillectomy is done at the same time as adenoidectomy, surgery to remove the adenoid glands.
Description Return to top
Your child will be given general anesthesia before surgery. They will be asleep and pain free.
Your child will stay in the recovery room after surgery until they are awake and can breathe easily, cough, and swallow. Most children go home several hours after this surgery.
Why the Procedure is Performed Return to top
The tonsils help protect against infections. But children with large tonsils may have many sore throats and ear infections.
You and your child’s doctor may consider a tonsillectomy if:
Risks Return to top
The risks for any anesthesia are:
The risks for any surgery are:
Rarely, bleeding after surgery can go unnoticed and cause very bad problems. Swallowing a lot may be a sign of bleeding from the tonsils.
Another risk includes injury to the uvula (soft palate).
Before the Procedure Return to top
Your child’s doctor may ask your child to have:
Always tell your child’s doctor or nurse:
During the days before the surgery:
On the day of the surgery:
After the Procedure Return to top
A tonsillectomy is usually done in the doctor’s office or a clinic. Your child will go home the same day as the surgery. Children rarely need to stay overnight in the hospital for observation.
Complete recovery takes about 1 to 2 weeks. During the first week, your child should avoid people who are sick. It will be easier for your child to become infected during this time.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
After surgery, the number of throat infections is usually lower, but your child will still get some.
References Return to top
Wetmore RF. Tonsils and adenoids. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 380.Update Date: 3/3/2009 Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.