A tonsillectomy is a surgery to remove the tonsils. This surgery is often performed if your tonsils are enlarged and are blocking the airways during sleep. It is more often used to treat obstructive sleep apnea in children but it is almost never performed on adults especially if it is just to treat snoring.
For children and young adults who suffer from sleep apnea it is often found that it is caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids and is therefore generally recommended as the first way to treat sleep apnea. It is found that more than 75% of these procedures are successful when treating children.
The improvements that are seen after a tonsillectomy are noticeable within six months after the surgery. These improvements include a decline in snoring and other restless sleep. It diminishes the number of colds and coughing that the child experiences as well. In many cases it also reduces hyperactivity and other behavioral problems that were prevalent before the surgery because the child is getting better rest and therefore more sleep.
If a child has other medical conditions like asthma or other respiratory problems those conditions would be treated first before considering the surgery and would be monitored afterwards as well.
The risks of this surgery are generally small if the child has no other medical conditions, but some complications that could occur include excessive bleeding or infection. In most cases the patient will have some difficulty eating and swallowing for a few days after the procedure.
As with any surgery it is important to seek sound medical advice from a physician who understands and works with this type of problem. You should also check with your insurance company to ensure that the procedure is covered as it will most often not be if you only indicate that it has to do with reducing snoring.
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