tonsillectomy in birmingham, alabamaThe tonsils are located at the sides of the throat, while the adenoids are located at the top of the throat, behind the nose. Removal of the tonsils and adenoids is a fairly common procedure for children, in order to help stop chronic infections in the case of the tonsils, and to help with breathing problems in the case of adenoids. The expert surgeons at Pediatric ENT Associates in Birmingham, Alabama are highly experienced and will give your child the best care possible before, during, and after surgery.

Tonsil Infections in Children

A tonsil infection can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Symptoms of an infection might include: 

  • Throat that feels scratchy or sore
  • Tonsils that are red or swollen
  • Yellow or white coating or spots on the tonsils
  • Pain when swallowing 
  • Bad breath 
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck 
  • Fever 
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache (usually in younger children)

Diagnosing an infection is typically done through a physical examination. If strep is suspected, a throat swab might also be performed. This quick test takes a small sample from the back of the throat, which can be examined in a lab for evidence of bacteria. An initial result can be available within minutes, but the more reliable lab test typically takes a day or two before the results are available. 

A tonsillectomy is usually considered when a child: 

  • Has multiple infections in a year
  • Misses a significant amount of school due to throat discomfort
  • Has difficulty sleeping due to enlarged tonsils
  • Gets tonsil stones frequently
  • Has an abscess or other type of growth on the tonsil

Enlarged Adenoids

Adenoids may become enlarged to fight off an infection or due to allergies. Most of the time, the swelling goes down on its own. In some cases, the adenoids become infected and remain enlarged. Symptoms of infection in the adenoids include: 

  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Dryness due to breathing through the mouth 
  • Breathing that is noisier than usual
  • Bad breath 
  • Snoring or obstructive sleep apnea
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck 
  • Sore throat and difficulty swallowing

Enlarged adenoids are also diagnosed through a physical examination in most cases. Occasionally, an x-ray may also be ordered. When enlarged adenoids occur frequently or do not respond to medication, an adenoidectomy may be recommended.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy Treatment Options

Often, the tonsils and the adenoids can be removed in the same procedure. If both the tonsils and adenoids are inflamed or enlarged, it makes sense to remove them both at the same time, as the procedures are similar and the tonsils and adenoids are located close to each other. Again, this decision will be arrived at by your Pediatric ENT Associates surgeon after a thorough examination and discussion with you and your child.

For more information about tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy treatments, visit ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy treatment is the removal of the tonsils. The decision to have the tonsils removed is one that is arrived at after careful consideration of all options. A tonsillectomy treatment is a fairly short procedure, usually lasting around half an hour to an hour. Your child will be under anesthesia the entire time, and will not remember the surgery.

Tonsillectomy treatments are usually performed to address chronic infections of the tonsils which may lead to swallowing problems. Your pediatrician will assess your child and their medical history to determine if  tonsillectomy treatments are the best option for your child’s health and well-being. To learn more about tonsillectomy, visit medlineplus.gov

Adenoidectomy

Adenoidectomy treatment is the removal of the adenoids, which are small glands located at the top of the throat. The adenoids can become enlarged or inflamed, leading to difficulty breathing, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea, among other problems. If your child is suffering from problems such as these, it is a good idea to have their adenoids looked at and determine if removal is the best option. Often, after an adenoidectomy treatment, children feel much better and can breathe more easily. This can translate into their daily life, too, as they can get a better night’s sleep and thus focus better during the day.

Surgery Treatment

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy procedures have been done for hundreds of years, and are generally very safe and low risk. The surgeon is able to do the surgery through the child’s open mouth, eliminating the need for any incisions. Your child will be under anesthesia during the procedure, but to make the experience as comfortable and non-threatening as possible, no needles will be inserted while your child is awake. Instead, the pediatric anesthesiologists at Childrens of Alabama are able to use a mask through which the child can breathe a calming sleep medication to prevent any anxiety associated with needles.

Schedule a Tonsil Appointment Today in Birmingham, Alabama

If your child is having problems with their tonsils or adenoids, schedule an appointment with an expert ENT pediatrician at Pediatric ENT Associates in Birmingham. To make an appointment, call (205) 831-0101 today!

Next, read about kids sore throat.