Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy Surgical Instructions

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What happens during surgery?

In the operating room, the anesthesiologist will usually use a mixture of gas and an intravenous medication for the general anesthetic. In most situations, an IV will have been started either in the preoperative holding room or after the patient has been given a mask anesthetic. During the procedure, the patient will be continuously monitored by a pulse oximeter (measuring oxygen saturation) and a continuous heart rate monitor. The surgical team is well trained and prepared for any emergency. In addition to the surgeon and anesthesiologist, there will be a nurse and a surgical technician in the room.

After the anesthetic takes effect, the doctor will remove the tonsils and/or adenoids through the mouth. There will be no external incisions. The base of the tonsils and/or adenoids will be burned (cauterized) with an electrical cauterizing unit. The whole procedure usually takes less than 60 minutes. The doctor will come to the waiting room to talk with any family or friends once the patient is safely transferred to the recovery room. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 11/3/2015
References
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCE:

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in children: Indications and contraindications
UpToDate.com

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