There are three types of tonsils: palatine, lingual (those that can be seen) and pharyngeal tonsils (adenoids). All are lymphoid organs of the larynx. Veritable protective barriers of the body, they fight infection in the same way lymph nodes do. In case of infection, tonsils become swollen. The removal of tonsils in adults is performed only if medically necessary. In children, tonsillectomy is often performed in cases of repeated tonsillitis or chronic tonsillitis. This process is frequently associated with an adenoidectomy where the pharyngeal tonsils or adenoids are removed.
Recurrent tonsillitis, exceeding the frequency of several episodes a year, often leads a patient to consult a health practitioner. Chronic tonsillitis, sometimes spontaneous, may occur as a result of a poorly treated sore throat. The main Symptoms of tonsillitis are tingling in the throat, difficult or painful swallowing, a feeling of having a foreign body in the throat, difficulty eating, and often a foul breath.
An inflammation of the tonsils can be see with the naked eye with the use of a light. They appear normal in size, but pushing on them sometimes makes a yellowish liquid emerge. Enlarged glands can often be felt in the neck.
In the case of a sever sore throat likely to give rise to an abscess, or severe recurrent tonsillitis, a tonsil operation is envisaged. One can also opt for laser removal of tonsils, which is performed only in adults, without general anesthesia. But the latter requires several sessions and is just as painful as conventional surgical removal. In the days following surgery, a special diet is required.
It is highly recommended to fight the predisposing factors of chronic tonsillitis to avoid as much as possible the removal of tonsils in adults. This includes:
- avoiding allergens and treating any allergies;
- not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke;
- Systematically consulting a doctor in case of repeated sinus or nasal disease;
- treating a sore throat;
- maintaining impeccable oral hygiene.