What are tonsils and adenoids?

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.

What is the purpose of tonsils and adenoids?

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.

My child’s tonsils are large. Does it need to be removed?

Tonsils are only removed if they are causing problems. Common indications for tonsillectomy are:

  • Recurrent tonsillitis: Frequent infection causing high fever and recurrent sore throats
  • Snoring/ Obstructive sleep apnea: The tonsils may play a role in snoring when the soft tissues of the neck collapse and causes breathing to be arrested during sleep. 
  • Peritonsillar abscess/ Quinsy: This is a bad infection of the tonsil that can cause pus formation next to the tonsil. 
  • Suspicion of malignancy: There may be some suspicion of malignancy. This is not common in children. 

Indications for adenoidectomy are:

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Otitis media with effusion: fluid in the middle ear causing hearing impairment

How is surgery performed?

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.

What should I expect after the surgery?

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from my first ENT specialist visit?

Your ENT doctor will first take a look at your medical history, find out more about the symptoms you’re experiencing and thereafter perform a thorough physical examination. This may include certain procedures such as flexible nasoendoscopy (a look into your nasal passages with a tiny camera). Your issues will be addressed and a suitable treatment plan will be devised for you.

How do I prepare my child for the first visit to the ENT clinic?

Always talk to your child to prepare them for their ENT visit. Find out more about the issues they’re experiencing so that you can assist them in helping the ENT doctor understand their condition. Do bring along a list of their old medications and health booklet.

What modes of payment do you accept?

We accept the following modes of payment:

  • Cash
  • NETS
  • PayNow/PayLah
  • All major credit cards

If you are insured and require more assistance, do approach our clinic staff.

Can I claim my medical bills through my Medisave account?

Yes. All Singaporeans and PR are able to use Medisave for certain consultations, procedures, and medications at our clinic. Please contact us to find out more about the eligible services.

I have insurance. Can I use that to claim for my medical bills?

Selected procedures are deductible if patients have purchased Integrated Shield plans. Please contact us to find out more.

The 6 Approved Integrated Shield Insurers are:

  • NTUC Income’s IncomeShield and Enhanced IncomeShield
  • American International Assurance International Co’s (AIA) HealthShield Gold
  • Great Eastern Life Assurance Co’s SupremeHealth and SupremeHealth Plus
  • Aviva Ltd’s MyShield
  • Prudential Assurance Co’s PRUShield
  • AXA Shield