Adult Tonsillectomy FAQs

Do I need a tonsillectomy?

Tonsils are the soft masses in the back of the throat. These lymph nodes can help get rid of bacteria and protect against infection; however, they too can become infected. Strep throat is a common tonsil infection. When tonsils become infected or inflamed quite frequently, our Fredericksburg, and Stafford, VA, ENT physicians may recommend a tonsillectomy.

What Is a Tonsillectomy?

A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure performed by our Fredericksburg, VA, team to remove the tonsils. Most people think of children when they think of tonsillectomies; however, kids aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the procedure. Adults can, too. The procedure is performed the same way on adults as on children.

Why Might I Need a Tonsillectomy as an Adult?

Just because you’ve dealt with strep throat or tonsillitis in your lifetime doesn’t mean you’ll need to undergo a tonsillectomy. Our physicians may recommend getting your tonsils removed if,

  • You are dealing with chronic sore throats or infections of the throat (five or more a year)
  • Inflamed or enlarged tonsils are causing obstructive sleep apnea or sleep-disordered breathing
  • You develop a growth or mass on the tonsils (often caused by HPV)

It’s more common for men to have their tonsils removed than women.

What Should I Expect From the Procedure?

This procedure is performed under general anesthesia, meaning you will be asleep throughout the surgery. Tonsils can be removed using a scalpel, laser, sound waves or cold. Regardless of the technique, the recovery is the same. Sometimes our team may decide to remove the adenoids as well. Once you are out of surgery, we will monitor you for a few hours before sending you home.

How Long Is the Recovery Process?

You should expect to make a full recovery in about two weeks. We will provide you with care instructions and do’s and don’ts to ensure that your throat heals properly without complication. We may prescribe pain medication to ease discomfort, especially for the first few days after surgery. Give your body ample rest and recovery time. A liquid and soft foods diet are required for two weeks.

If you are dealing with persistent or severe tonsillitis, it may be time to speak with our Fredericksburg, and Stafford, VA, team to discuss whether you could be a candidate for a tonsillectomy. To schedule a consultation, call the Ear, Nose & Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center at (540) 371-1226.

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