The tonsils are two small tissues on wither side of the back of the throat. They are part of the lymphatic gland system, and trap germs which enter through the mouth. Naturally they are frequently attacked themselves, the resulting inflammation being tonsillitis. The first symptom is a sore throat, and if this is examined it will be seen to be inflamed. The temperature rises, the patient feels unwell, and often has a headache. As the condition progresses, the tonsils become swollen; and often can be seen to have little beads of pus (white spots) on them. The patient should see a doctor promptly as he may need penicillin.
Recurrent attacks of tonsillitis and persistently enlarged neck glands suggest that the tonsils are no longer working and may be best removed. The removal of tonsils through a surgical operation is called tonsillectomy. This is normally done when the tonsils become infected. When the tonsils can no longer perform their functions, medical doctors recommend their removal. This is because they become the site of infection.
The procedure of removing the tonsils is considered to be among the safest of all operations. Anesthesia is administered to make the operation pain-free. General anesthesia is used for children and adults. For some adults, local anesthesia may be administered.
One’s tonsils can be removed anytime of the year. The attending physician makes sure the patient is healthy enough to undergo the operation. Some doctors will give antibiotics before the operation; to minimize the chance of infection. Others prescribe vitamin K to reduce the chances of post operative bleeding.
The patient usually stays in the hospital for just a day or two after the tonsillectomy. No special post operative diet is required. The patient, however, is cautioned to avoid highly spiced or seasoned food.