Tonsillectomy – When Is It Necessary?
There was a time when a tonsillectomy was a regularly performed surgery used to remove swollen or infected tonsils. Over the years, the healthcare community has determined that tonsillectomy surgery was often being performed unnecessarily, so nowadays this procedure isn’t done nearly as often as it once was. That being said, there are times when a tonsillectomy is still necessary. Here are a few instances:
- Tonsils that touch. A tonsillectomy is needed when your tonsils become big enough that they touch each other.
- Pus around the tonsil. This is a sign of a severe bacterial infection called peritonsillar It’s usually caused when strep throat or tonsillitis goes untreated.
- Chronic tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is considered chronic when you experience five or more bouts of the disease in a year’s time or if you have three bouts per year for two consecutive years. Another sign of chronic tonsillitis is when the condition does not respond to antibiotics.
- Long-lasting bleeding. Tonsillectomy surgery is likely if you have raw, bleeding patches on your tonsils that don’t heal.
- Tonsils large enough to obstruct breathing. This can narrow your airway, make it harder to swallow, change your voice, or cause choking and gasping.
- Persistent bad breath. If you experience bad breath that won’t go away, it may be caused by infected tonsils which act as a bacterial breeding ground for the microorganisms that cause bad breath.
When to Call the Doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:
- Sore throat accompanied by a fever of 101 degrees or more
- Severe difficulty swallowing
- Persistent mouth-breathing, snoring, or an extremely nasal-sounding voice
- Dry mouth and tongue, which could indicate dehydration
- Urinating less than normal
Wondering If You Or Your Child Needs a Tonsillectomy? Contact Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat.
For more information about identifying the symptoms of tonsillitis, or to learn more about the other services we provide, please call our office at 732-280-7855 or visit our website.