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When Do You Need a Tonsillectomy?

Tonsillitis—most of us tend to think of it as something that just affects children, but it’s actually something that also occurs frequently in adults. In fact, research has proven that having your tonsils removed can help stop repetitive sore throats, enlarged or bleeding tonsils, and chronic tonsillitis.

Dr. Sullivan says, “tonsils play a role in produce disease-fighting white blood cells, creating a line of defense against bacteria and germs that enter via the mouth. Yet, this very function is what makes tonsils so susceptible to frequent infections.”

Sleep Apnea—This disease affects many children and adults alike. In children, snoring and other breathing issues are often related to enlarged tonsils and adenoids. The same can be true in adults. Sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils has become the main reason to have tonsils removed in children. So how do you know when you should have your tonsils out?

Here are a few guidelines to know when it’s time to schedule that tonsillectomy:

  • If you have more than five episodes of tonsillitis in one year or at least three cases a year over a period of two years
  • If a bacterial infection isn’t improved with antibiotics
  • If a severe tonsil infection requires hospitalization for treatment
  • If you have enlarged tonsils, which often lead to problems swallowing or sleep apnea
  • If you have an abnormal growth on the tonsils

Typically, a tonsillectomy is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll get to go home the very same day of the surgery. The tonsillectomy is performed under general anesthesia and includes the surgeon removing the tonsils using a scalpel or other specialized surgical tools. Dr. Sullivan said the procedure itself takes under an hour.

If you experience frequent sore throats, difficulty swallowing, a hoarse voice, or enlarged lymph nodes, it may be time to have the tonsillectomy conversation with your doctor. At Premier Medical, we understand that living with these chronic conditions isn’t feasible. Give us a call today so that our experienced doctors can help you determine if the procedure is best for you.

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