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Removing tonsils and its after effects What is normal and what is not





Tonsils are a pair of tissue masses located behind the throat containing immune cells. It serves as an immunity checkpost for any pathogens entering from oral cavity. At times infection and inflammation it becomes red and swollen leading to severe pain requiring its removal. The procedure done to remove one or both tonsils is known as tonsillectomy.

Tonsillitis is more common in children than in adults. Accordingly tonsilectomy is commonly performed in children. This procedure is performed by an otorhinolaryngologist and is done under general anaesthesia. Unlike sedation where the patient is just asleep, general anaesthesia knocks out the person; the limbs and respiration is paralysed and hence breathing is assisted using endotracheal tube. Sometimes rarely following general anesthesia during recovery you may experience temporary confusion and dizziness (mostly in elders), burning sensation while passing urine and sorethroat. These are normal and will clear off in a few days.

Tonsils are very vascular tissues. It bleeds heavily, not uncontrollably during the procedure. After the bleeding stops a thick scab is formed. This scab appears as a thick yellow-white structure. You can clearly notice this scab under a mirror when you open the mouth. The scab is a normal process of healing.

The scab will fall off in 5 - 10 days. However if it gets peeled away early it may bleed. Though a minor bleeding is normal during the early days post tonsillectomy, you should seek medical help if it bleeds heavy and not controlled. Heavy bleeding is not normal.

You will experience pain after tonsillectomy once general anaesthesia weans off. Your doctor will prescribe pain medications. The pain will gradually fade off in a few days to a week. It is normal to experience pain; but severe persistent pain or worsening pain is not normal. You should get back to the doctor if severe pain persists even after 2-3 days.

It is also normal to notice sorethroat, snoring and bad mouth odor for a few days after tonsillectomy. You should visit the doctor if it lasts beyond a week.

You may also experience mild to moderate pain for a day or two after tonsillectomy. Fever is normal during healing. However, high grade fever persisting for more than 2 days is not normal. It could indicate an infection and should be addressed at the earliest.

Those are the common after effects of tonsillectomy.
About Author Suneel Gupta :

You should consult an otorhinolaryngologist if you witness any other symptoms. You may also ask an ENT Specialist online here on Ask A Doctor for more enquiries.


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