Understanding Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy Procedures

In this episode of “We Nose Noses,” join Dr. Reddy and Dr. Smith from NJENT as they delve into the recovery process after a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. If you or your loved ones are considering or have recently undergone these throat related procedures, this comprehensive guide will provide valuable insights into the recovery journey and what you can expect along the way. From practical tips to expected outcomes, the NJENT experts offer their expertise to ensure a smoother healing process.

What you’ll learn:

  • Who benefits from a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy and why they are recommended for those facing chronic infections and breathing difficulties
  • What to expect in the recovery process after these surgeries and valuable tips for ensuring a smoother healing journey
  • When the ideal timing is and the potential advantages in terms of improved sleep, reduced infections, and overall quality of life

Don’t miss out on this insightful conversation – it could make a world of difference in your recovery experience. Subscribe to our podcast, share your thoughts with a review, and stay tuned for more episodes designed to empower you with valuable medical knowledge. Your health and comfort are our priorities!

Listen to the audio version below.

Audio Transcript:

Dr. Smith:

Hi, this is NJENT and welcome to the We Nose Noses podcast. I’m Dr. Smith. This is Dr. Reddy here with us. Today we’re gonna talk about a very common complaint, concern, and that is tonsil stones. The medical term is tonsillitis. And so it’s something that patients come in very frequently with and don’t know what they are or what to do with them. So Dr. Reddy is here to start talking to you a little bit about what they are and what kind of common symptoms or what you may experience if you have tonsil stones.

Dr. Nishant:

So this is one of Dr. Smith’s favorite topics, the tonsil stones. You know tonsil stones, they’re these little white things in the back of your tonsils that get stuck there and occasionally they come out and patients feel like it’s irritating in the back of the throat and it can cause a lot of bad breath. Those are the most common kind of complaints we get. But your tonsils are these tissue in the back of your throat made of immune cells. It’s called lymphoid tissues. And it kind of looks like a sponge in the back of your throat. And the little holes in the sponge, they’re referred to as tonsil crypts. For some patients, those crypts and those holes can be longer. and it can be more tortuous, which can result in bacteria and food particles kind of getting stuck there after you’re eating. And that leads to these stone formation. And when the stones are there, they can cause chronic throat irritation. They can, it can feel like something’s stuck in the back of your throat, which is referred to as globus. And it can actually even lead to acute tonsil infections. You’re more likely to get a tonsillar infection if your tonsils are already inflamed and irritated by other things. So anything to add about tonsil stones?

Dr. Smith:

No, yeah, they’re very common, probably more common than we know, because a lot of patients have them. But yeah, a lot of patients can not always feel them, but they can… they are not always see them I should say, but they can feel something stuck like back in their throat and that is a very, very common complaint. And now most people over time will have at some point gotten them out of their tonsils, either squeeze them out or kind of expelled them from their tonsils. Sometimes with some pressure from the neck, sometimes people reach in just with their finger and push against their tonsil and be able to squeeze them out. People can sometimes use toothbrushes and. water picks and other things to try to flush them out or long Q-tips to stick them out. But most commonly patients when they come in, know that they have a stone back there at some point because they’ve seen them, squeezed them out, et cetera. And so they come to us asking, what can we do about these? So most commonly, certainly getting them out, so expelling them is one common thing. So often we recommend like after you eat and… drink anything with sugar to kind of like rinse the mouth out so that the water is the last thing that’s kind of going through there so you can kind of rinse and gargle after you eat or drink anything with like sugars and that can help kind of decrease some of the food particles that can get stuck back there. You know, good oral hygiene is important for all these things but that’s one thing that can kind of help a little bit. Certainly they make all sorts of like specialized curettes and things that you can get in there and try to scoop them out yourself, a water pick or… Yeah, if you can your finger as well to get them back out of there. You just want to be cautious.

Dr. Nishant:

Speaking of that, you don’t, I don’t usually recommend patients sticking stuff in their throat. The reason is, is because your tonsils are just right next to a big artery in your neck called the internal carotid artery. And in rare situations, if you jab in the wrong direction, you can potentially cause injury to some of the blood vessels in the area.

Dr. Smith:

Yeah, exactly. So you don’t want to be blindly sticking all sorts of items back there. But it’s very common that we get those as, you know, patients have tried many, many different ways to get them out. So we typically recommend some sort of hygiene, whether it’s the water after the meals. Certainly if they get real big and inflamed, sometimes antibiotics can help decrease the bacterial concentration and help decrease some of these stones. So sometimes they’re. Patients will develop more of those during allergy seasons or during viruses when the tonsils get inflamed and they tend to spit more of these out. Removal of the tonsils is sometimes something that needs to be done if they’re significant enough and they’re causing recurrent infections and they’re causing enough problems that are affecting someone’s quality of life. Sometimes we’ll even recommend removal of them. That’s typically like our last ditch, then we try to avoid removing tonsils. Um, at most causes, but if you’re getting infections, you’re having severe pain is causing lots of other difficulties and problems. Um, sometimes from these kinds of chronic tonsillitis and chronic stones, we’ll end up taking the tonsils out for that as well. Um, any other treatments or anything you want to talk about with this?

Dr. Nishant:

In terms of conservative treatment, the water pick, I think it’s probably the best thing because it’s, you’re unlikely to cause any damage with a water pick. It’s basically a high pressure. water system that you can buy over the counter, you can use in your bathroom. And typically it’s what you picture a dentist uses to kind of clean your teeth and things, but you can aim it at the back of your throat where your tonsils are and try to clean out the stones. You alluded to taking out your tonsils and that’s kind of the last resort and it has a high likelihood of curing the tonsil stones. There’s another procedure called cryptolysis or tonsil cryptolysis where it’s kind of like a little bit more of a conservative measure than just a regular tonsillectomy where you take out your whole tonsil and you’re basically kind of from an outside in kind of shaving down some of the crypts that are the source of the tonsil stones. But the problem with that procedure is it has a high likelihood of these tonsil stones from kind of keep coming back. So generally for most people we We recommend just conservative management with a water pick and gargles that Dr. Smith mentioned. And if that doesn’t improve it and it’s still a persistent problem, then just getting your tonsils taken out.

Dr. Smith:

All right, excellent. So I think that pretty much sums up our talk on tonsil stones. I know it’s a common but nagging problem that a lot of people end up having. We’ll talk about many other things as time goes on, but that’s the end of our tonsil stone talk. If there’s anything else, please feel free to comment or leave any questions in the comments. Please make sure to like and subscribe, and join us for future podcasts. Thanks guys. Take care.

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