Your surgeon at Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists uses coblation technology for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Coblation is an advanced technology designed to quickly and gently remove tonsils and adenoids using high frequency energy and saline. Coblation technology does not rely on a heat-driven process to remove target tissue and is designed to preserve surrounding healthy tissue. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis. In such cases, patients typically return home shortly after the procedure.
The tonsils are located in the back of the throat. Although the tonsils have a role in helping treat infection, the tonsils can contribute to infections as well. When this happens, removal of the tonsils can improve your child's health. Removal of the tonsils has not led to an increase in infections or a loss of immune (disease fighting) function due to hundreds of other lymph nodes in the head and neck that perform the same function.
Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils and usually involves the back of the throat as well (pharyngitis). This infection is uncommon in children less than one year old. It is seen most frequently in children four to seven years of age, and continues less frequently throughout late childhood and adult life.
In most cases, viruses are the most common cause of tonsillitis. The second most common cause is a bacteria known as Streptococcus, otherwise known as "strep throat". Other bacteria can cause tonsillitis, but much less frequently. Occasionally an abscess or collection of pus may develop around the tonsils and needs to be drained.
Tonsillitis can become difficult to treat and become chronic, or recur frequently. This can result in fatigue, poor weight gain and poor school attendance among other things.
The tonsils can become so enlarged (tonsillar hypertrophy) that your child may have difficulty breathing (especially at night) or difficulty swallowing. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids combined with snoring and possible sleep apnea, where breathing repeatedly stops and starts, have become the most common reason to undergo removal. You should call your physician if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms.
Adenoid tissue is a lump of tissue at the back of the nose above the tonsils. In order to see them, your physician can look at the adenoid tissue by placing a fiber optic camera in the nose.
The adenoid is basically a lymph node. A lymph node contains lymphocytes, which are cells that help to fight infection. The adenoid is a part of a group of lymph nodes that include the tonsils, found around the back of the throat. Together, they act to help process infections in the nose and throat.
In most children, the adenoid enlarges normally during early childhood, when infections of the nose and throat are most common. They usually shrink as the child gets older and disappear by puberty. However, in some children, the adenoid continues to become larger and block the passage behind the nose. This can result in snoring, breathing through the mouth, and/or a hyponasal sound to the speech. Additionally, this can result in middle ear infections (otitis media) because of blockage of the tube that connects the ear to the throat, called the eustachian tube.