Sore Throats: When Should a Tonsillectomy Be Considered

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Sore Throats: When Should a Tonsillectomy Be Considered

doctor checking a patient's throatTonsillitis 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.

By | 2017-02-07T20:39:58+00:00 February 7th, 2017|Articles, News|Comments Off on Sore Throats: When Should a Tonsillectomy Be Considered
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