The answer to that, frankly is, no. ENT surgeons remove tonsils from patients of all ages for a variety of reasons, though it is less common in adults. While the number of tonsillectomies has significantly declined over the last 40+ years, this is still a procedure that many people can benefit from. While tonsillectomy patients are typically younger, there are numerous reasons why an ENT doctor may suggest a tonsillectomy for adults.
Today, 80% of tonsillectomies are performed for obstructive sleep problems, a statistic that may surprise many people. However, tonsillectomies are still a popular treatment in the event of bacterial infections, especially those caused by streptococcus. The bottom line is that while people traditionally consider tonsillectomy a procedure for children, this is no longer the norm.
Reasons to Have Your Tonsils Removed
Some of the main reasons to have your tonsils removed are:
● Obstructive Sleep Apnea
● Chronic Infections
● A mass on your tonsil or asymmetry of the tonsils
● History of a peritonsillar abscess
● Persistent tonsil stones
However, tonsils can get enlarged or tender due to non-surgical conditions, such as acid reflux or food allergy. The surgical recovery gets more difficult and the risks more common as you get older, so discuss carefully with your ENT specialist before deciding whether tonsillectomy is for you. In many cases, after surgery people will experience improvements in nasal breathing and energy levels, all aside from the elimination of their initial complaint.
Preparing for Tonsillectomy
If you have met with your ENT doctor and he or she has determined that it would be in your best interest to have your tonsils removed, there are a handful of steps you should take prior to the surgery.
● Notify your surgeon of any problems with anesthesia or clotting of blood
● You may need to have a blood test prior to surgery
● You may need to visit your primary care doctor to ensure you are in good health
● Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on when to stop eating food or drinking liquids prior to the surgery
To learn more about this procedure or if you have any additional questions regarding the age restrictions for tonsillectomy, contact Central Park ENT in Arlington, Dallas or Fort Worth today.