What are adenoids and tonsils? What are their duties?
The small oval-shaped structures you see on both sides of the throat when your child opens his mouth are the tonsils. The adenoid is the invisible part of the same system. It is an immune system tissue located behind the tonsils, above the uvula. The tonsils and adenoids are strategically located close to the entrance of the respiratory tract to capture external infectious agents. Harmful factors such as bacteria and viruses can cause these tissues to inflame themselves. Thus, the tonsils and adenoids act as a part of the body’s defense system by helping the body to form antibodies, which are a weapon against germs. This task is fulfilled in the first 5 years of life. As children get older, the importance of these tissues decreases. In fact, there is no evidence that tonsils and adenoids are important after 3 years of age. In a recent large-scale scientific study, it has been shown that children who have had their tonsils and adenoids removed do not suffer from any loss of defense against future diseases.
What are the diseases of the tonsils and adenoids?
The most common problem affecting the tonsils in children is recurrent inflammation and overgrowth. Recurrent inflammation of the tonsils also occurs in adults. Thus, abscesses, chronic tonsillitis and bad breath occur around the tonsils. Tumors can also occur in the tonsils, but are rare. The large size of the adenoid and its frequent inflammation cause difficulty in breathing through the nose, sleeping with the mouth open, snoring, and intermittent respiratory arrest (apnea).
How is the adenoid and tonsils examined?
Methods used in the evaluation of tonsils and adenoids; questioning, examination, microbial cultures, x-ray, endoscopy and blood tests. Your doctor will receive information about the patient’s ear, nose and throat problems and perform an examination. In the examination of the nose and throat, light and bendable small tubes (flexible endoscopes) can be used. The examination also determines whether any glands are enlarged in the neck. Microbial cultures are important in diagnosing throat infections. Whether a culture can be taken depends on the discretion of the doctor and the appearance of the throat. X-rays are sometimes helpful in determining the shape and size of the adenoid.
When is it necessary to take adenoids?
If there are respiratory problems such as deterioration of nasal breathing, mouth breathing, snoring and sleep apnea, If there are recurrent or chronic inflammations of the nose, nasal passages and sinuses, If there is middle ear infections and fluid accumulation in the middle ear with a lack of hearing, If there is an enlarged and nasal cavity Adenoid that causes congestion in the area is surgically removed.
When is it necessary to remove the tonsils?
In case of frequent recurrence of tonsillitis (more than 3 – 5 times a year in children, more than 2 per year in adults), in the presence of suspected malignant tonsil tumor, in the presence of excessive tonsil growth that causes difficulty in breathing and swallowing, in the presence of a chronic infection that causes bad breath and swelling of the lymph nodes. In the case of tonsillitis, in the case of chronic tonsillitis seen in people with heart rheumatism (acute rheumatic fever), heart valve inflammation or kidney inflammation, in case of adenoid and tonsil growths that disrupt the jaw and tooth structure, the tonsils are surgically removed.
At what age are adenoid and tonsil operations done?
Tonsil diseases are known as childhood diseases, but they can also be seen in adults. The lower age limit has been determined as 3 years, except for mandatory cases. If there are frequent throat infections and respiratory tract obstruction symptoms in adults, surgery should be performed. There is no upper age limit, the incidence of this disease is low in advanced ages, and if there are risky diseases associated with anesthesia, simple solutions are often preferred.
How are adenoid and tonsil surgeries performed?
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia in children. After the mouth is opened with a special instrument following anesthesia, the enlarged adenoid on the upper part of the soft palate and uvula is removed with the help of a special angled instrument. The tonsils are stripped from the surrounding muscles and separated from their junctions. Subsequently, bleeding is controlled and the surgery is terminated. While classical techniques such as scissors and scalpel can be used to remove the tonsils, some new technologies such as bipolar electrocautery, radiofrequency or thermal welding can also be used. Each of these techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages.
What is the recovery period like after adenoid and tonsil surgeries?
During awakening from anesthesia, it is possible to have both restlessness and drowsiness. After the operation, 3-4 hours after the effect of the anesthesia wears off, the control can be done and sent home, but the patients are hospitalized for one night in order to keep the patient under control and to intervene immediately in case of a possible situation. Medications prescribed after surgery should be used regularly. Sore throat and difficulty in swallowing, which continue for about 1 week – 10 days after the operation, are relieved with medications. There may be slight voice changes and nasal speech, slight changes in taste, a feeling of pressure in the jaw joint, and mild bad breath.
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