Tonsillotomy (Partial Tonsillectomy)
What is the difference between Tonsillotomy vs Tonsillectomy?
How tonsillotomy is performed?
How long will it take and stay in the hospital?
When can you return to work?
Recovering after your surgery
- Very hot baths and showers!
- Aspirin before or after operation
- Moderate and heavy physical activity, including sport for ten days - Bending down to pick things up, especially heavy weights.
Tonsillectomy - tonsillar tissue removal
The tonsils are small lumps of tissue located at the back of the throat as part of the immune system, which helps fight infection and protects the body from bacteria and viruses. If you have recurring bouts of tonsillitis or it is severe enough to interfere with your everyday life, your surgeon may suggest removing your tonsils. This is done in an operation known as a tonsillectomy. Tonsillectomy is one of the most common major operations carried out on a daily bases.
What is Tonsillectomy?
A tonsillectomy is an operation to remove the tonsillary glands. Removing the tonsils will not put your body at greater risk of developing infection. The body's immune system is perfectly able to cope with bacteria and viruses without the tonsils.
How tonsillectomy is performed?
The procedure is done under a general anesthesia, which means that you will be asleep during the procedure. Your mouth will be held open so that your surgeon can see your tonsils, and no cuts will be made in your skin. Your surgeon will use special instruments to remove your tonsils before closing the wound with dissolvable stitches.
How long will it take and how long do you stay in the hospital?
The procedure is carried out 30-45 minutes and you will usually need to stay in hospital for only one night.
The pain usually gets worse during the first week after the operation and gradually improves during the second week. We recommend a combination of simple analgesia. Earache is a common side effect after tonsillectomy and is no cause for concern.
When can you return to work?
After your tonsils had been removed you will need to rest for at least 10 days and will normally not be able to return to work until the third week. Try to keep yourself away from smoky environments and from people with coughs or colds. It is advisable NOT to exercise until four weeks after your surgery.
Recovery after your tonsillectomy
Following a tonsillectomy, you may feel groggy and sleepy as a result of the anesthesia. You will normally need several hours in a hospital ward after the operation to make sure you are recovering normally. Most patients will find that their throat feels slightly sore after the procedure, which can be nicely managed with regular painkillers. After the tonsils have been removed, the throat appears white. The new lining of the throat forms under the white coating. As the throat heals, the white coating gradually disappears. This takes about two weeks. It is important to clean your teeth regularly as this helps fight infection in the mouth.
Eating and drinking
After the operation, as soon as you are fully awake, you will receive ice lollypop and then you have to start drinking liquids two to three hours after the operation. You can usually take your first meal on the evening after surgery. You will probably find swallowing difficult but it is important to eat solid foods as this will help the throat to heal more quickly. Drink plenty of fluids.
- You may want to take painkiller about an hour before you eat as this may make it easier to eat and swallow the food.
- It is also very important to drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid very hot baths and showers as this may lead to hemorrhage. Take these cold.
- If you are taking Aspirin you should discuss this with your surgeon as you may need to avoid taking aspirin for a few days prior and after the operation. Aspirin can potentially increase the risk of bleeding.
Risks of Tonsillectomy
Many thousands of tonsillectomies are performed every year without any problems. The possible problems are outlined below:
Occasionally, you may have some bleeding. Serious bleeding is rare and can occur up to 10 days post-operatively. A little fresh blood in your hanky is no cause for concern but if it starts dripping actively, you should:
- Sit down in a chair and relax. (Do not lie down)
- Place an ice-pack (or a bag of frozen peas etc) over your forehead.
- Try sucking an ice-cube.
If these measures do not stop the bleeding and it continues unabated without any sign of slowing down after 15 minutes, you should go to your closest Accident and Emergency (Casualty) department. Avoid all moderate and heavy physical activity, including sport for ten days after the operation. Avoid bending down to pick things up, especially heavy weights.
If your voice has changed, becomes hoarse, whispery or rough, it is advised to see an ENT specialist to avoid any long term irreversible damage on your vocal box. During your consultation and after a thorough history has been taken, your vocal box will be visualized using a small flexible scope. The motion of your vocal cords will be recorded and analyzed. Vocal cords that are not properly or are overused can swell up, develop nodules / lesions or other pathological deformation. These can be managed in the early stage without surgical intervention. If surgery is necessary, Dr. Levente using specialized instruments is able to cure your problem and help you return back to your everyday life as soon as possible. After the procedure, on the same day you can leave the hospital. You will be advised to rest your voice for 7 days.
“I really can recommend dr Levente enough. He's a great doctor with outstanding skills and knowledge. He thoroughly explained all the surgery details and was so patient and understanding . His post-op care was superb and he answered all my inquiries. A caring doctor and an amazing person. Zeina Sh”
How to Eat After Tonsillectomy Surgery
Suggestions and Tips
After your surgery - first 24 hours
Eating and drinking
Postoperative First week
- You may get a blood stained / pinkish discharge for a few days
- Swelling and bruising around the eyes will disappear slowly
- Avoid very hot baths and showers
- If you take aspirin you should discuss this with your doctor
- Remain indoors at least during the first week
- Only gently blow your nose after nasal irrigation for 10+ days
- Avoid strenuous activity (jogging, swimming, bending, sexual activity) for 2 to 3 weeks, as it may increase your blood pressure and the risk of bleeding
- Avoid contact sports, hitting or rubbing your nose and direct sun exposure for 8 weeks
- Avoid wearing glasses without consulting your doctor once the splint is off
- Contact lenses can be used as and when you wish
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