If your child commonly experiences a sore throat and develops strep as well, then an ear nose and throat doctor may recommend the removal of the tonsils. If you are unsure whether or not this is the right choice, you are not alone. Many parents have questions about tonsil removal and whether or not this is the best choice. Keep reading to learn about some common questions and their answers.
What Are The Downsides of Tonsil Removal?
There are some risks associated with a tonsillectomy and the most common involve adverse side effects in relation to anesthesia. Bleeding is also a risk after surgery and so is an infection of the surgical area. Also, since the tonsils are removed, your child's body will no longer experience the various benefits of the tonsils.
The tonsils are a part of the immune system. Specifically, the tonsils are lymph tissues that trap microorganisms as soon as they enter the body. They help to remove the bacteria, viruses, and fungi from the food your child eats and the air he breathes.
Basically, the tonsils are one of the body's first defenses in the fight against pathogens. Removing the tonsils will mean that this defense will no longer be active. However, the body has numerous other lymph tissues as well as lymphocytes that destroy microorganisms if they do make it into the body. So, your child's immune system is unlikely to be affected negatively by the removal.
There are some serious drawbacks to leaving tonsils in place though. Generally, the drawbacks involve continued infections that are likely to spread to other areas of the body, like the nasal cavity.
Which Tonsils Are Removed?
Your child's ear, nose, and throat doctor may discuss the removal of the tonsils as well as the adenoids. The adenoids are actually one of several pairs of tonsils that are present in the body. The tonsils that are usually removed are called the palatine tonsils that sit in the back of the mouth. There are also the lingual tonsils that sit at the base of the tongue and the pharyngeal tonsils that sit along the back of the nasal cavity.
The pharyngeal tonsils are the adenoids and they are commonly removed if sinus infections are also a problem. So, if the doctor says the tonsils and adenoids will be removed, then the pharyngeal and palatine tonsils are the ones being targeted during surgery.
Tubal tonsils are present as well and are located at the end of the ear canals. They are sometimes removed as well, but typically only when ear infections are problematic.
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