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Specializing in problems of the Ear, nose, sinuses and throat.

An ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) is a physician trained in the medical and surgical treatment of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. They have special expertise in managing diseases of the ears, nose and nasal passage sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face. ENT is the oldest medical specialty in the United States.

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Category Archives: Tonsillitis

Tonsillectomy Surgery

If you deal with chronic throat infections, you are probably desperate for relief. While medication can help treat infections, people who deal with these infections on a regular basis might need a tonsillectomy to fix their issues. Fortunately, tonsillectomies (or tonsil removal surgeries) are very common and easy for your doctor to perform. In this article, we will discuss the tonsillectomy procedure and recovery process so you can book your surgery with confidence.

Who Needs a Tonsillectomy?

There are a few different situations that will cause a doctor to order a tonsillectomy. The most common reason for a tonsillectomy is chronic tonsillitis, or recurring sore throats caused by tonsil inflammation. Tonsillitis is most common in pre-pubescent children but can affect people of all ages. Tonsillectomies are also recommended for patients who have bacterial tonsil infections that do not improve with antibiotics.

Occasionally, other issues will require tonsillectomies as well. These include breathing problems or sleep apnea related to swollen tonsils, frequent snoring, tonsil bleeding, or even cancer affecting the tonsils. These problems are less common that tonsillitis, but can be very serious. Your doctor will likely try other treatments before ordering a tonsillectomy. 

Tonsillectomy Procedure and Preparation

You will need to fast the night before your tonsillectomy. This will mean avoiding all food and liquids, including water. Some patients may feel nervous fasting, so it can help to schedule your tonsillectomy early the next morning. Before you go in for your procedure, make sure you have a comfortable place set up in your home for recovery. You’ll also need to find someone to take you home from your appointment as you will not be able to drive.

During the procedure, there are a few different methods your doctor can use to remove your tonsils. Some doctors will use a scalpel to cut your tonsils out, known as a cold knife dissection. Other doctors will use a special device to cauterize (or burn) your tonsils. Both are very safe. Because you’ll be under general anesthetic, you won’t feel any pain while your tonsils are removed.

Tonsillectomy Recovery

After your surgery, you will most likely deal with a sore throat as you recover. While eating and drinking might be painful, it’s important to stay hydrated. Water and ice pops will help with this. You might also want to stick to a diet of soft, bland foods like mashed potatoes or applesauce while your throat heals.

During recovery, it’s also important to rest. Stay in bed for the first few days of your recovery, and avoid strenuous activities and exercise for two weeks while you fully heal. It’s also important to take any medications that your doctor prescribes, as these will help prevent future infections and reduce your pain. Like any surgery, a tonsillectomy can seem intimidating. Talk to your doctor about any fears you might have, and they will put your mind at ease. After you recover, you’ll be glad you had the surgery.

If you think you need a tonsillectomy, don’t put it off. Contact Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813 to schedule an ENT appointment today.

What is Tonsillitis?

Believe it or not, but if you are having trouble with your sinuses, you are also probably having issues with your tonsils. Located behind the tongue, tonsils serve a limited number of purposes. People can live perfectly normal lives with and without tonsils, which is why tonsillectomy remains a common treatment method for tonsillitis.

What is Tonsillitis?

When you get a sore throat, you might gargle with salt water or take over the counter cold medicine to make your symptoms go away. While you might seek to treat the entire throat area, inflammation in the throat may occur in the tonsil region. These two fleshy pieces of tissue move as you talk, sing, eat and drink. Anything can lead to their irritation, which is commonly referred to as tonsillitis.

Causes

The main cause of tonsillitis is sinus infection or congestion. When you get a stuffy nose, the mucus comes out when you blow it, but it also impacts the tonsils. Remember, mucus is a waste product that your body wants to get rid of. It contains dirt and germs that can lead to a bacterial infection – which is exactly what tonsillitis is. When your tonsils get infected, your entire immune system is at risk.

Signs and Symptoms

The easiest way to tell if you have tonsillitis is to feel for swollen lymph nodes. Gently apply pressure to the outside of your neck, at the point located just below the jaw bone. If the area feels tender, swollen and sore when you touch it, you likely have tonsillitis. Additionally, tonsillitis symptoms include lethargy, sore throat, and sometimes low-grade fever.

Treatment

Most of the time you won’t need to take antibiotics in order to get rid of tonsillitis. The bacterial infection generally resolves itself naturally in less than a week. If your doctor does order a round of antibiotics, it is likely because you have a weak immune system. Those who repeatedly come down with tonsillitis might need to have them fully removed in order to feel better permanently.

Experiencing swollen, sore tonsils is never fun but most infections only last a matter of days. You can try wearing facemasks out in public if you are susceptible to these kinds of infections. Otherwise, consult with an ENT for more options. Take care of your tonsils and you will have a much stronger immune system, leading you to have fewer illnesses. Schedule your consultation today with a world class NYC ENT.

Contact us at 212-867-4813 to schedule a consultation.

Michael C. Burnett, MD

115 East 57th Street
Suite 600
Between Park + Lexington Avenes

212-867-4813