Adults with tonsillitis have often being suffering for years, enduring frequent painful inflammations, infections and severe sore throats, sometimes accompanied by agonizing earaches. Perhaps they have been hoping it was mainly a childhood problem which they would outgrow as they got older and this can happen.
For others, the symptoms not only don’t diminish with age, but actually become more severe and happen more often. One reason for this is that repeated infections can leave the tonsils rougher. Natural pockets in the tonsils (sometimes called crypts or fissures) may become larger and the entire tonsils themselves may be growing larger over time. This can cause them to protrude further into the throat, make them more likely to become filled with debris, get infected again and even cause pain when just eating or swallowing.
Recurrent bouts of tonsillitis can really interfere with life and patients miss days of work or school or constantly battle bad breath which is very embarrassing in business, social or romantic situations as well.
At the same time, the patient may have spoken with other adults who underwent traditional tonsillectomy and told their stories of spending weeks in severe pain, unable to eat normally, taking a lot of medication for pain, swelling or infection, and having a lot of bleeding after surgery or as the surgery scabs finally began coming loose a week to 10 days later. At this point, it is natural to wonder if the cure isn’t worse than the original problem.
A Simpler, Gentler Solution
When the ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) examines your tonsils, s/he may determine that their location in the back of your throat indicates that they are good candidates for partial removal using laser surgery, rather than the traditional method of surgery which removes the entire tonsil.
A laser instrument is used to quickly vaporize the excess tissue, eliminating the troublesome fissures and debris they collect and leaving the patient with much smaller and smoother tonsils. The patient leaves the office shortly after the brief surgery and returns home to recuperate for a day or two if needed.
Your doctor can review your medical history to help you assess the frequency of your bouts with tonsillitis, your records of days of work or school missed, and how often you need intervention such as antibiotic treatment to resolve the problem. This will help to provide an objective determination as to whether surgery should be considered.
Laser surgery is a great alternative to traditional tonsillectomy, especially for adults seeking to avoid weeks of down time and a long, painful recovery. A doctor who performs this surgery can provide you with additional information on the procedure and the way it will help prevent future episodes of tonsillitis.