Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tonsillectomy vs Adenoidectomy: Two Birds, One Stone

Tonsils and adenoids are small and soft tissues located in the back of the throat that can prevent infections. Tonsils are located on the sides of the throat, while adenoids are located in the roof of the mouth. In many children, however, tonsils and adenoids can become swollen and inflamed leading to frequent sickness, which requires removal of both glands at the same time.

Surgical relief for tonsillitis and adenoiditis

Tonsillitis and adenoiditis are the most common reasons individuals undergo a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, also known as the removal of the tissue. Tonsillitis symptoms include a sore throat, fever, headaches, trouble swallowing, and decreased appetite. Adenoiditis symptoms include snoring, difficulty breathing, and nasal speech. Surgical removal of tonsils and adenoids depends on the severity and frequency of the symptoms.

A safe and common procedure

Before committing to a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy, patients will undergo several blood tests and a physical exam to determine treatment options. A tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes and requires no incisions leaving behind no visible scars.

After the procedure, a nurse will monitor the patient for a few hours in the recovery room. The outpatient procedure can be quick and easy. Patients can leave the facility within a few hours after completing the surgery. Full recovery can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks.

Recovery tips for faster healing

Shortly after the procedure, patients may feel congested or have a sore throat and stuffy nose. Tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies can take up to 2 weeks to fully heal. In the meantime, patients should hydrate regularly with cold liquids such as water, milk, or juice. Hot liquids can irritate the healing site.

Patients should also avoid eating hard foods such as crackers, pretzels, or chips. Soft foods such as Jell-O, pudding, mashed potatoes, and soup can be easy on the throat. Patients can take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce intense pain. Finally, patients should avoid strenuous physical activity, which could increase a person’s heart rate and blood pressure and increase the risk of bleeding.

A new and improved life

A tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy could make all the difference in many patients. The surgeries can reduce the rate of infection, snoring, and improve breathing. Patients that are having trouble with frequent strep throat, snoring, gasping, or trouble breathing should visit an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist for specialized care and discuss treatment options.