As parents, considering surgery for our children can be daunting. However, it is sometimes the best option. Such is the case when discussing tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for persistent infections or difficulty sleeping.
Tonsils and adenoids are oval-shaped collections of lymphoid tissue that sit at the back of the throat. They function as part of the immune system recognizing foreign material as it enters the mouth and nose. This is most important for babies and less so for children and adults.
While both the tonsils and adenoids are helpful in early life, many children and young adults face problems living with their tonsils and adenoids. The two most significant problems are:
Removal of tonsils or adenoids or both can remove a source of throat/sinus infection as well as obstruction. These operations are highly successful for properly chosen candidates. Recovery from tonsillectomy is usually difficult and takes a week or two and recovery from adenoidectomy is usually uneventful taking only a few days.
Tonsils and adenoids are often removed together. When tonsils need to be removed it adds little to the recovery to also remove the adenoids. If the adenoids are the main issue and tonsillectomy can be avoided, recovery will be easier.