What is tonsillitis?
The tonsils are a pair of tissue masses at the back of the throat, and the adenoids are a single mass located high at the back of the throat. Considered part of the body’s immune system, tonsils fight infection by trapping bacteria and germs at the entry to the throat, triggering an immune response to an infection.
Large or chronically inflamed tonsils (tonsillitis) can cause breathing problems and a very painful sore throat.
A tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils and is commonly performed alongside an adenoidectomy, which removes the adenoids. These surgeries are most commonly performed in children.
The surgery may be indicated in the following circumstances:
- Repeated bacterial infections of the tonsils such as:
- > 6 instances in a year
- 3-5 instances in a 5-year period
- Infections that do not respond to antibiotics
- When tonsil size causes problems such as:
- Sleep apnea
- Difficulty swallowing
- When cancer is suspected or diagnosed
After a successful tonsillectomy, strep throat infections are quite rare. Removal of the tonsils in children cures about 95 percent of sleep apnea cases. If tonsillitis caused difficulty swallowing, patients can usually swallow normally after recovery from surgery.
For more information about whether a tonsillectomy is right for you or your child, call ENT & Allergy Center of Austin at (512) 328-7722 or use our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you at one of our convenient locations in central Texas: Westlake, Cedar Park, or Round Rock.