Do You Need To Have Your Tonsils Removed Or Reduced? Here Are Three Things You Should Know

Has your doctor informed you that the best way to be rid of your frequent bouts of tonsillitis is to have your tonsils removed? While this is a rather common procedure, many people know very little about how it is actually done and what the recovery entails. Learning a bit more about tonsillectomies will ensure you know what to expect before, during and after your procedure.

Laser procedures are available to reduce the size of your tonsils.

In some cases, you may not need to have your tonsils removed entirely. Recently, laser treatments have been developed that allow doctors to reduce the size of your tonsils without traditional surgery. The procedure can be performed in your doctor's office rather than in an operating room, and you can even drive yourself home since you won't be under general anesthesia. The recovery period is much shorter -- your throat will be a bit sore, but not as sore as with a standard tonsillectomy.

Laser treatments don't work for everyone. However, if your doctor does not mention laser surgery, it is worth your while to bring it up and ask if it's an option. Your doctor may feel that a standard tonsillectomy is still a better option for you, but at least you'll know.

There are no incisions involved in a standard tonsillectomy.

Patients often wonder how the doctor will access their tonsils. Do they have to cut into your neck or through your mouth? Luckily, they don't have to make an incision at all. The tonsils are accessed through your mouth, and your doctor cauterizes (burns) them out with a special device. There will be no stitches to worry about, and the procedure is done rather quickly under general anesthesia.

You're probably not even going to feel like eating ice cream.

On TV and in the movies, you often see people eating ice cream after having their tonsils removed. However, you should be aware that following the procedure, even ice cream is going to hurt going down. It's important that you know that this level of pain is normal—you don't have to panic that something is wrong. Luckily, your doctor should provide you with several methods of controlling the pain. Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers can be taken orally, and there are numbing sprays that your doctor may recommend using prior to eating, so you can do so without pain.

Now that you know a bit more about tonsillectomies, you can approach your appointment with confidence. If you have any additional concerns about the procedure or are wondering whether your doctor will be using a laser or standard method, don't be afraid to ask you doctor (like those at Eastern Carolina Ear Nose & Throat-Head) . The more you know, the more comfortable you will be.