Frequently Asked Questions About Tonsillectomy
If you struggle with sleep apnea or persistent tonsil infections, it may be time to consider a tonsillectomy. A long-practiced and common medical procedure, tonsillectomies are a safe and effective way to resolve sleep apnea and other breathing issues. Dr. Daniel J. Leeman performs tonsillectomies and can help you decide if this procedure is right for you.
What Are Tonsils?
The tonsils are two lumps of tissue in the rear of the throat. Tonsils produce disease-fighting white blood cells and are therefore considered part of the body’s immune system. However, tonsils are not essential to the body and having them removed poses no threat to an individual’s long-term health.
What Medical Conditions Does a Tonsillectomy Resolve?
Tonsillectomies are commonly performed to treat breathing issues such as sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which a patient’s breathing repeatedly stops and restarts during the night. Tonsillectomies are also performed on patients who get frequent and severe cases of tonsillitis and on those who have complications associated with enlarged tonsils. Patients who have rare diseases of the tonsils are also candidates for a tonsillectomy.
How Much Downtime Will I Need After the Surgery?
After a tonsillectomy, most patients need to rest for several days. You will also be advised to avoid strenuous activity, such as running, biking, and weightlifting, for two weeks. You’ll want to consume liquids and soft foods during your recovery period. Smoothies, yogurt, applesauce, and mashed potatoes are all good options. Some patients report a tightness in the jaw immediately after a tonsillectomy. Chewing gum can help resolve this.
Will a Tonsillectomy Impact My Breath?
Some patients are surprised to find that a tonsillectomy actually improves their breath. The tonsils work to trap dead cells and bacteria, and some of the debris that accumulates in the tonsils can give off a bad smell. Removing those tonsils also removes the odor. Improved breath isn’t a reason in and of itself to book a tonsillectomy, but it’s certainly a nice side benefit.
How Will I Feel After the Recovery Period?
After your recovery, you can expect a return to full health without the nuisance of frequent and severe cases of tonsillitis and without the distress of sleep apnea and other breathing disorders. Most post-tonsillectomy patients no longer suffer from bouts of tonsillitis. They also report a return to normal sleep patterns because they are no longer hampered by breathing disorders.
How Should I Prepare?
You will receive specific instructions for preparing for your tonsillectomy. Generally speaking, you will be limited in what you can eat and drink after midnight before your surgery. You may also be asked to refrain from taking aspirin for two weeks before your procedure. As part of your preparation, be sure to arrange to have a friend or a taxi take you home after the procedure.
Interested in learning more about a tonsillectomy? Dr. Daniel J. Leeman can provide additional information and assess whether you might be a good candidate. Call Dr. Leeman’s office in Austin, Texas, today and schedule a consultation.