Tonsillitis is a common childhood infection of the tonsils caused by viruses or bacteria. Symptoms include a sore throat, swollen tonsils and fever. A tonsillectomy, the surgical procedure to remove the tonsils, is a treatment option offered at Lake Norman ENT.
Any decision to have surgery is a personal one to be determined by a patient and their physician. Each child has his or her own experiences and symptoms that may or may not warrant having a tonsillectomy. Guidelines established by the American Academy of Otolaryngology can help parents decide when surgery may be appropriate. A conversation about surgery may be warranted if your child:
- Experiences seven or more tonsillitis episodes in one year
- Has five or more episodes for the past two years
- Is diagnosed with three or more episodes a year for the past three years
Given these criteria, a wait-and-see approach is often recommended. Track your child’s tonsillitis episodes. How much do they affect quality of life? Is your child getting fewer throat infections over time?
At-home options for treating tonsillitis include:
- Making sure your child gets plenty of rest
- Giving over-the-counter pain medicines or frozen treats (popsicles, ice cream) or having your older child gargle with warm salt water to relieve sore throat symptoms
- Keeping your child hydrated
If you decide that surgery is the best option, Lake Norman ENT can answer any questions you have pertaining to pre-surgical preparation, the procedure itself and post-surgical recovery.
A tonsillectomy is also an option for adult patients who may experience airway obstruction or sleep apnea as a result of chronically inflamed tonsils. The procedure commonly used is called an intracapsular tonsillectomy, which reduces pain, recovery time and bleeding often seen with a traditional tonsillectomy.