Saturday, July 18, 2009

Frequently asked questions on Tonsil surgery (Tonsillectomy)

1. Is tonsillectomy an emergency surgery?

No. Tonsillectomy is not an emergency surgery. It is an elective surgical procedure done at a time convenient to the patient.

2. My child is 3 years old & suffering from tonsillar infection. Is surgery a solution?

No tonsillectomy is usually not performed in a child under the age of 5 because the blood loss (about 100ml) will harm the patient.

3. What are the indications of tonsil surgery?

a. Repeated tonsillar infections about 5-6 attacks in a year

b. Frequent tonsillar infections causing the child to miss school

c. In a child breathing through the mouth (nasal obstruction due to enlarged adenoid tissue). Adenoid tissue if enlarged is removed along with tonsil. If adenoid tissue is not removed along with tonsil, it will undergo compensatory enlargement in size causing nasal obstruction.
d. Frequent attacks of ear pain / ear discharge. (i.e. Ear pain and discharge will recur if the root cause is not addressed "Tonsillar infection").
e. In patients with severe dental malformations before orthodontic treatment.
f. If culture from throat / tonsil shows Beta hemolytic streptococci infection and ASO test shows four fold increase in values. This is done to prevent the patient from developing Acute rheumatic fever and acute glomerular nephritis.
4. How long must my child stay in the hospital?

Tonsillectomy is a day care surgical procedure. One day hospitalization is enough.

5. Will there be any scar in the neck?

No. Tonsil removal is performed through the mouth. No suture is necessary.

6. After surgery how long will it take for my child to regain consciousness?

Your child will be fully conscious when being shifted out of the operation theatre.

7. How long will it take for my child to eat normally?

You must encourage your child to eat ice cream 3 hours after surgery. Your child may refuse because of pain. If you make your child eat as early as 3 hours after surgery pain will reduce dramatically. You will find the act of swallowing will help your child to tolerate pain better.
During the first 3 days after surgery your child should eat soft bland diet. Normal diet can be gradually restored after the 4th day of surgery.

8. How many days leave my child need to apply?

4 days would suffice. It is always better to schedule this surgery during your child's vacation.

9. My child has blood stained sputum 3 days after surgery. Is it normal?

Yes it is quite normal for your child to have this problem during the first week.

10. What must I fear after tonsillectomy?

You must fear bleeding. If your child has bleeding from the mouth / vomits brown colored fluid you must seek immediate medical attention.

11. The area of surgery appears white on the first day Is it normal?

Yes it is normal. White patch in the tonsil area will last for at least a week.

12. After surgery will my child have voice change?
Quite unlikely. The surgery is not performed over the vocal cord. Any change in voice could be due to placement of anesthesia tube into your child's voice box during surgery. This voice change will be transient. If your child would have had adenoid enlargement then in all probability will have improvement in voice following adenotonsillectomy.

13. How much blood loss will my child suffer during tonsil surgical procedure?

Roughly about 100 ml.

Can I see the surgical procedure?


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