Tonsils are small glands in the throat, one on each side. They are there to fight germs when you are a young child. As you get older, the tonsils become less important in fighting germs and usually shrink. Your body can still fight germs without them.
Adenoids are part of a ring of tissue at the back of the throat. To visualize the adenoids, a nasoendoscope or a neck X-ray can be performed.
They are lymphoid tissue which helps to form antibodies. This may be important in young children less than 3 years of age but there is no evidence it is needed as a child grows older.
Will my child’s immunity be affected by removal of the tonsils and adenoids?
There is no evidence that children with their tonsils and adenoids removed suffer a decrease in immunity.
Tonsils are only removed if they are causing problems. Common indications for tonsillectomy are:
Indications for adenoidectomy are:
It is performed under general anesthesia (when patient is put to sleep). A device is inserted and mouth is kept open. The tonsils are then removed surgically. Thereafter the nose is inspected and adenoids may also be removed if indicated.
Patient should be encouraged to rest for at least 1-2 weeks after surgery. Soft food should be given for about 1-2 weeks after the surgery. Patient will also be encouraged to hydrate frequently.