Tonsillectomy in children
The tonsils are part of our lymphatic tissue and provide protection to our body, removing various bacteria and producing antibodies, thereby enhancing our defence. In other words, they work like a filter, retaining microorganisms. The role of tonsils up to the 2nd year of age is extremely important because they identify the nature of antigens and provide the body with the “memory” for preserving this identification process for life, and this is why tonsillectomy is usually not allowed before the age of 3.
When should the tonsils be removed?
The main indications for tonsil removal in children concern two basic problems: the infections they may cause, and the cases where, due to their size, they block the airway and lead to heavy snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea. With respect to infections, the number of episodes – usually set at 4-5 times a year – is important, but definitive. An important indication for tonsil surgery is the peritonsillar abscess, which involves the collection of pus between the pharyngeal wall and the tonsil. Decisive factors include the severity of episodes, whether the intervals between inflammations are symptom-free, the persistent presence of cervical lymph nodes, bad breath and complications in the surrounding organs such as ear infections, sinusitis, bronchitis.
Thanks to the advances in otolaryngology, tonsillectomy is now performed with new techniques and use of radio frequencies. In this way, surgery involves less pain and bleeding, which is very important for children. The healing is faster and so they can return directly to school and their activities, always following the doctor’s instructions.