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West Shore ENT & Allergy

Otolaryngology & Allergy Specialists located in Norton Shores, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Fremont, & Ludington, MI

If you’re experiencing airway-related sleep problems or tonsils infections that come back again and again, a tonsillectomy might be the best option to relieve your symptoms and treat your condition. The West Shore ENT & Allergy team provides a number of comprehensive ear, nose and throat care services like tonsillectomies. To find out if a tonsillectomy is a proper treatment for your condition, call one of the offices in Norton Shores, Grand Haven, Fremont, Ludington, or Muskegon, Michigan today. You can also book an appointment online.

Tonsillectomy Q & A

What is a tonsillectomy?

A tonsillectomy is a safe and common surgery to remove your tonsils. The tonsils, two oval sacks near the back of the throat, are the first line of defense against germs that enter through the mouth. When the tonsils come in contact with an infection, it can result in a sore throat, strep throat, or tonsillitis.

The tonsils often play a role in conditions like sleep apnea by obstructing your airway. A tonsillectomy solves these issues by removing the cause: your tonsils.

Why would I need a tonsillectomy?

Before doctors had access to reliable antibiotics, tonsillectomies were the go-to treatment for infections and inflammation of the tonsils. 

Today, tonsillectomies are primarily used to treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Although not as common, tonsillectomies are also used to treat recurrent infections and rare diseases of the tonsils.

What is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils. Tonsillitis is most commonly caused by a virus or bacterial infection. It can usually be treated at home, but in rare cases, medical intervention is required.

You doctor might suggest a tonsillectomy to treat your tonsillitis if you suffer from tonsillitis seven or more times a year. Tonsillitis can affect people of any age but is most common in children.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly during sleep. Patients with sleep apnea experience loud snoring, fatigue, and are often awaken abruptly gasping for air. 

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the muscles in the back of your throat becoming too relaxed to support normal breathing.

During sleep, the muscles that support the tongue and tonsils become too relaxed and the airway narrows. This condition is worsened by enlarged tonsils that further obstruct the airway. Removing the tonsils can provide you with a simple, long-term solution to obstructive sleep apnea.

What should I expect during my tonsillectomy?

The ENT experts at West Shore ENT & Allergy provide outpatient tonsillectomies. This means you’ll be able to go home the same day as your surgery. Children might be required to stay overnight. 

Tonsillectomies are done under general anesthesia so there’s no pain or discomfort during the surgery.

Your doctor will use a traditional scalpel blade, an ultrasonic scalpel, or heat to remove your tonsils. After the surgery, you’ll be monitored closely before being discharged with proper aftercare instructions.

To ensure a full recovery, it's important to rest for a few days following the surgery and get plenty of fluids. Most patients experience some pain after their surgery, so over-the-counter pain medications can be used during recovery.

To speak with one of the ENT specialists at West Shore ENT & Allergy about whether a tonsillectomy is right for you, book an appointment by phone or online today.