Tonsillectomy | Adenoidectomy | Sleep Apnea Treatment

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy

Two operations that are sometimes undertaken for obstructive sleep apnea treatment include a tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy.

Tonsillectomy means a removal of the tonsils while Adenoidectomy is a removal of the adenoids.

However these types of surgeries are not used to improve snoring in young children and are rarely used to improve symptoms in adults who snore. They are predominantly operations for sleep apnea treatment.

Doctors often recommend one or both of these types of sleep apnea surgery if enlarged adenoids and/or tonsils are the cause of the obstructed airway in a patient. This is often tonsillectomy recommended for children as tonsils or adenoids that are inflamed or enlarged are very often the number one cause of sleep apnea in those of a young age.

Tonsillectomy And Adenoidectomy For Children

Children, who have both these surgical procedures done, generally notice improvements in their sleep apnea symptoms anytime within a six month period after their operation.

Parents notice in their children that the incidence of coughing, colds and snoring decrease tremendously and children start to feel healthier, stronger and more like their old selves again.

As well repeated nights of restless sleeps are less common as time goes on, as are bursts of hyperactivity and other behavioral types of problems. These operations have a high rate of success being in the area of seventy-five to one hundred percent. This is true whether the child is of a normal or is slightly overweight.

Post Surgery Care

Both tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies must take place in a hospital and may need a short stay of a few days. Both a child and an adult who undergo these surgeries require to be closely monitored afterwards, as injury to nerves, swelling in the throat and a sense of extreme sleepiness can be a effect of the surgery and the meds administered during the surgery.

Blood oxygen levels also need to be carefully watched the first, second and third nights following the operation(s).

When these forms of sleep apnea surgery are done on children who are three years or younger or those who suffer from such medical problems as Down syndrome there is more of a risk of health complications such as breathing difficulties. Children who fall into the above category often need continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or oxygen therapy following surgery.

Patient will notice that their throat is extremely sensitive and sore (a great deal more sore than it is when a virus has caused a sore throat) after both these types of surgical procedures.

In the first few days following the surgery, both eating certain types of food and swallowing food can cause discomfort and difficulties.


Two main complications of post surgery include bleeding and the risk of infection. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected but extreme bleeding is a problem that requires to be addressed instantly.

Children who suffer from chronic upper respiratory infections, asthma as well as other respiratory problems as well as heart related conditions need to have these serious problems addressed medically before a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy can be performed.

If they are not then the child is at risk for more complications during and following the tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy surgery.

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