If tonsil enlargement is not treated in children, it can lead to serious health problems such as sleep apnea and developmental disorders. So, in which cases and how is tonsil surgery performed in children? Let’s start!
How to understand tonsil enlargement in children?
Our tonsils are the plain-shaped tissues at the back of the throat, on both sides of the soft palate, which are responsible for the body’s defense. The examination is quite simple, when the child opens his mouth, you can see his tonsils with a small light source. If the tonsils are large and red in appearance, an infection may be suspected. Even to this;
- Sore throat,
- difficulty swallowing,
- bad smell in the mouth,
- Complaints such as swelling in the neck lymphs can also be added.
The size of the tonsils is evaluated as 4 stages.
- First and second tonsils do not cause respiratory tract discomfort.
- Third-level tonsils can also become obstructed in the disease-free period.
- Level four tonsils can cause more advanced respiratory distress and breathing problems without disease.
What are the causes of tonsil enlargement in children?
Adenoid and tonsil infections are among the most common problems of childhood. So much so that adenoid and tonsil surgery is among the most performed operations in our country.
- Frequent presence of the child in closed environments such as nurseries and kindergartens,
- Having allergies
- Throat infection,
- Infection of the tonsils with viruses or bacteria,
- Factors such as a weak immune system can lead to tonsil enlargement.
What problems does tonsil enlargement cause in children?
Tonsils larger than normal in children;
- Sleeping disorders,
- temporary respiratory arrest
- Developmental and behavioral disorders,
- It can cause problems such as learning and school performance being adversely affected.
How is tonsil enlargement treated in children?
Although the removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) in childhood was once considered as normal as the eruption of the teeth, today the swelling of the tonsils and adenoids is not considered a sufficient reason to remove them. Because tonsils are considered to prevent diseases rather than cause disease. Doctors usually wait for the tonsils to return to their normal size or prefer to apply antibiotic therapy to reduce swelling.
However, in some cases, tonsil surgery is really necessary. Below, we have mentioned in which cases surgery is preferred according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In which cases is tonsil surgery performed in children?
- If there are recurrent episodes of tonsil infection (more than 3 per year in the last 3 years, more than 5 in the last 2 years or 6-7 episodes per year),
- If tonsillitis or swelling of the tonsils has become chronic despite treatment with antibiotics,
- If swollen tonsils seriously interfere with breathing and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs,
- If there is an enlarged tonsil that causes difficulty in swallowing or speech disorder ,
- If an abscess occurs around or behind the tonsil,
- If there is a condition that causes sleep disorders such as sleep apnea,
- If ear infections continue to recur,
- If there is snoring and mouth breathing with the prevention of swallowing and breathing, tonsil surgery is required.
How is tonsil surgery performed in children?
In preparation for the surgery, the family is informed about the surgery and the next process, and the possible risks and benefits are explained. Since tonsil surgery is performed under general anesthesia, the child’s throat infection must have passed. Children with normal blood test and chest X-ray are taken into surgery. Tonsil surgery is completed with an operation that takes about 30-40 minutes through the mouth.
A soft and warm diet is recommended for 10 days after the surgery. Painkillers are given as there may be pain that lasts for a few days. It is necessary to be careful for bleeding after tonsil surgery. In case of minor bleeding, it is necessary to contact the doctor.
Non-surgical tonsil reduction is also among the preferred options today. In this application, which is made with plasma technology, instead of removing the tonsil completely, it is ensured that the respiratory tract is opened by reducing it sufficiently. In the plasma treatment, the tonsils are removed by evaporation and can be reduced to the first or second degree.
At what age is tonsil surgery performed in children?
Tonsil surgery in children can be performed at any age. Except for sleep apnea, tonsil operations are expected after 2.5 years of age. The group in which the surgery is most frequently performed is 3-5 years old. If the necessary conditions and obligations are met, waiting for the child to grow up can cause more harm than good.
Is there any herbal treatment for tonsil enlargement in children?
If there is a condition such as a throat infection under the swelling of the tonsils, you can help alleviate the symptoms with some natural cures.
- Having your child drink 1 glass of warm milk mixed with honey before going to bed at night will soften their throats and prevent the formation of bacteria around the tonsils.
- Sage tea is good for throat infections with its antioxidant properties.
- Mixing 1 glass of squeezed lemon with hot water and consuming it regularly after brewing helps relieve inflammation of the tonsils.
- Soothing herbal teas such as chamomile and linden help relieve a child’s sore throat.
- Ginger is a complete healing store. Ensuring that your child consumes it regularly will also help strengthen his immunity.