Pediatric Tonsils and Adenoids

ENT Health

Both tonsils and adenoids are patches of tissue in the throat that help to fight off infections. They work by trapping bacteria and viruses that may enter the body through the nose or mouth. Because they trap germs, they can sometimes swell as they try to fight off an infection. In some cases, they can even become infected. When the tonsils become infected, it is called tonsillitis.

Signs of tonsillitis include:

  • Sore throat
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Signs of enlarged adenoids include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Noisy breathing
  • Snoring
  • Sinus symptoms
  • Middle ear infections

Tonsil and Adenoid Surgery

In the case of recurrent infected tonsils or enlarged adenoids, a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy may be necessary. During both surgeries, general anesthesia will be used. Surgery usually lasts about 20 minutes, and the tonsils or adenoids will be removed through the child’s open mouth. In most cases, children can return home the same day as the procedure.

While recovery does involve moderate pain and discomfort, this should only last about a week. Children may need to stick to a soft diet to avoid discomfort while swallowing. There are no stitches involved, and the wound will heal naturally. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection.

If you child is experiencing recurrent tonsil infections or enlarged adenoids, an examination by a professional ENT physician is needed. Contact our Tuscaloosa office today to schedule an appointment.

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