Tonsils and Adenoids

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy Addressed at ENT of Tulsa

The tonsils and adenoids are part of the immune system that helps us fight infection and issues with these are commonly addressed at Ears, Nose, and Throat of ENT Tulsa. They can be considered first line defense. Sometimes the tonsil and/or adenoids can become the problem. If the tonsils develop crypts (deep wrinkles) they can harbor instead of fight infection. There is no effective medical treatment. Salt water gargles, physically removing the debris from the tonsillar crypts with Q-tips, and other treatments have been tried but with limited success. This is considered chronic tonsillitis and sometimes the only effective way to treat this is by removing the tonsils and/or adenoids.

Another common indication for tonsillectomy / adenoidectomy is recurrent infections. Most insurance companies will not approve this surgery until you have had 7 episodes in a year which patients of Ears, Nose, and Throat of ENT Tulsa sometimes reach. If the recurrent infections are caused by streptococcus bacteria there are other concerns. The strep bacteria can give off toxins and cause damage to other organs like the kidney and heart.

Sometime the tonsils and adenoids can become so large they cause significant partial obstruction of the upper airway. This has now become the most common indication especially among children. Many of these children snore like an adult which can be an important clue there is a problem. The snore will disrupt the sleep pattern at night so the child can be very sleepy the next day. This leads to behavior issue. Many have been diagnosed with attention deficient and other behavior disorders by the time they come to visit Ears, Nose, and Throat of ENT Tulsa.

The tonsils have a capsule that separates the tonsils from the underlying soft tissue. If the infection in the tonsil ruptures through this capsule then infection can escape into the surrounding tissue and cause an abscess; a peritonsillar abscess as our ENT Tulsa specialist Dr. Scott Cordray has observed many times. Most peritonsillar abscess will not return. If the abscess should return a tonsillectomy may be indicated.

This proceed required a general anesthetic as an outpatient procedure which we frequently conduct at Ears, Nose, and Throat of ENT Tulsa. The recovery is typically 7 to 10 days. Generally younger patients have less pain. The most common complication is bleeding, although it happens in less than 2 to 4 %. If there is bleeding that occurs it can be treated with ice chips which can cause the blood vessels to clamp down and stop. Cautery can also be used if needed. Sometimes the patient will have to be taken back to the operating room to control the bleeding.

Dehydration can also occur after this procure especially is smaller children. This is the reason we do not recommend a tonsillectomy / adenoidectomy under the age of 3. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please call our Ears, Nose, and Throat of ENT Tulsa office at 918.582.8217.