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Tonsil

Tonsil

Our tonsils are important structures consisting of lymphoid tissue that protect us against harmful microorganisms. Excessive growth of the tonsils can cause respiratory distress. Its contribution to the immune system decreases after the age of 3. Therefore, tonsils can be removed from the age of 3. Tonsils are located in the back neighborhood of our tongue, left and right.

Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is the infection of the tonsils with microorganisms. The most commonly seen bacterial infection agent is the group A beta hemolytic streptococcus.

Symptoms and Signs

Tonsillitis usually manifests itself with a sore throat, fever, weakness, difficulty in swallowing, and palpable painful swelling (lymphadenopathy) in the neck. The disease can cause serious workforce loss. Redness of the tonsils, rashes, and painful lymphadenopathy in the neck are common findings in the examination. Heart valve damage, joint involvement, and kidney inflammation may develop secondary to tonsil infection. Albeit rarely, movement disorder (Sydenham’s chorea) might be seen as well. Starting the treatment early and using drugs for a sufficient time to prevent the involvement of the relevant issues are of prime importance. Particularly in patients who frequently develop febrile tonsillitis infections, utmost care should be taken. When they become overly enlarged, the tonsils can cause snoring, interrupted breathing during sleep, or difficulty in swallowing. Tonsillitis can also cause respiratory problems and retarded growth in children. Frequent repetitions of tonsillitis might cause enlargement in the spaces called crypts in the tonsils. Over time, foul-smelling tonsil Stones might accumulate in these spaces. Speech disorder and jaw development disorder might also be seen.

Exact indications for tonsil surgery (Tonsillectomy)

Removal of tonsils (tonsillectomy) is required in cases of frequent recurrent tonsillitis (more than five times a year or more than three times in two subsequent years) and in cases in which difficulty in swallowing, history of abscess near the tonsils, suspected malignancy, difficulty in breathing during sleep, lung and heart failure due to respiratory distress, and uncontrolled tonsil bleeding are observed.

Factors to consider before tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy is not recommended for people with bleeding disorders. In the use of aspirin and oral anticoagulant drugs, surgery can be performed 1 week after the discontinuation of the drug as the risk of bleeding will decrease only then. A patient with acute tonsillitis should have the surgery after the infection has cleared up because there will be less risk of bleeding.  In cases in which an abscess has developed next to the tonsil, tonsil surgery is recommended after the abscess is emptied and the infection is gone.

What is done in tonsillectomy surgery?

Our tonsils stand apart from the surrounding muscle tissues with a structure called a capsule. Our tonsils are taken out, after being released from a plan between this structure called a capsule and the surrounding muscle tissue.  Bleeding control is to be provided during the operation.

Diet after tonsillectomy

Avoid solid, hard, hot, acidic foods for at least two weeks after the surgery.  Luke warm and cold liquid food (water, milk, ayran, fruit juices) are recommended in the first 2 days.  Plain ice cream can be started on the second day. On the third and fourth days; foods such as fruit puree, custard, pudding are recommended. After the 5th day, it is possible to switch to semi-solid foods (e.g. bread crumbs, pasta, soaked biscuits). Excessive physical activity should be avoided for at least two weeks after the surgery. The points described here are all for informational purposes only and you should be examined by your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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