Adenoids-Tonsil Surgery

Children and Tonsillitis

Difficulties with adenoids and tonsils are very common in the paediatric population; kids often need treatment of tonsillitis, and tonsils and adenoids often cause snoring and breathing problems in children.  Tonsillitis is very common and presents with sore throat, fevers and a generally unwell child. However, presentation may be varied, and can present as abdominal pain, listlessness, even behaviour changes.  After repeat attacks the presentation may change and may be more subtle; a child that is 'whingey', a poor eater, has fevers with no clear cause, a change in your child's voice or even ear pain.

With so many symptoms it is important to see your family doctor if your are concerned, but recurrent tonsillitis needs attention from a specialist.

Dr Mooney will take a careful history from the parent/s and examine your child. He will guide your family as to the safest and best treatment options for your child. Sometimes recurrent infections can be treated with medication. Alternately Dr Mooney may suggest surgery. The presentations more likely to need surgery are more than four to six attacks of tonsillitis in a year, attacks requiring hospitalisation, infections requiring more than one course of antibiotics, and tonsillitis in kids with other medical problems.

Children, Snoring and Sleep Disordered Breathing

The tonsils and adenoids can be so large that they obstruct breathing in your child at night. Simple snoring in an adult is often just an 'inconvenience', but in children it can be much more significant. Without the breathing strength of adults and with much more brittle oxygen reserves, snoring can be a real medical problem for kids. If your child is snoring heavily, if you have watched him/her sleeping and it looks like breathing is laboured and especially if your child stops breathing, even for short periods you should make an appointment with a specialist.

Dr Mooney will again take a history from you, the parents and examine your child. Occasionally medical treatment is possible and it is important to exclude unusual causes for snoring. However most often the enlarged tonsils and adenoids are to blame and surgery is often suggested.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy in Children

The decision for your child to have surgery can be daunting. There are lots of mixed messages in the community about the function of the tonsils, the risks and outcomes of tonsillectomy and changes in your child after this procedure.

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy is a safe, successful procedure. It has some risks that Dr Mooney will discuss with you, but many thousands are performed each year in Australia with the vast majority proceding without significant problems. Dr Mooney has been performing this operation since 1996 and has performed several thousand without any major complication.

The tonsils do not form a filter, children do not have more infections without them and there is no change in growth or immunity of your child. These facts have been statistically proven.

Overwhelmingly, families are delighted with the positive change in their child. Parents almost universally report a child who is happy, healthy, sleeps well, who's behaviour has improved and who eats well.

If your are concerned about your child take time to make an appointment in our clinic.

Adults and Tonsillectomy

Adults presenting with tonsillitis are a very different situation. Tonsillitis in adults presents much the same as kids, but the implications on interruption of normal life are much more significant. The presentation is much the same: sore throat, fevers, sweat, days off work or study, and this happening repeatedly. After repeated attacks many adults report 'always feeling tired', a 'nagging sore throat', 'always feeling down or depressed', or 'the antibiotics just don't work any more'.

Most adults who visit our clinic with tonsillitis are keen for a solution to the problem, and tonsillectomy provides this solution.

Tonsillectomy in adults is safe, successful and solves the problem forever. Surgery requires a general anaesthetic, a night in hospital and generally a week off work. Post operatively, tonsillectomy can be painful, but with careful analgesia, this is managed well and patients invariably are delighted with 'life without tonsils'!

Tonsils can also cause concern in adults in patients who snore, who smoke, and if there is asymmetry between both sides. Often tonsils are the cause of bad breath too. 

If your are concerned about any of these presentations, take time to make an appointment with Dr Mooney or call (02) 9389 4497.

© Copyright 2013 - Dr. William Mooney

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