Tonsillitis is a very painful condition that will cause a child to have several symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, refusing to eat, ear pain, fever, chills, enlarged glands, and a headache.
The tonsils are the almond shaped lymph nodes that are in the back of the throat. These lymph nodes are there to filter out germs but, if a virus or bacteria is too strong, the tonsils will swell and become extremely painful.
If tonsillitis is chronic, your doctor may want to remove your child’s tonsils. The surgery is called a tonsillectomy. The surgery is uncommon in children under the age of three and not widely performed as it was many years ago. These days, doctors realise that the tonsils are necessary to filter out germs and will only remove them in the case of chronic tonsillitis.
Chronic tonsillitis is considered as seven or more episodes in one year or five or more episodes within a year for two years straight. There are other symptoms that will lead to a tonsillectomy if they are problematic; trouble breathing, a tumor in the throat or nasal passage, or trouble swallowing.
If a tonsillectomy is necessary, don’t panic. It is a common procedure that is usually done on an outpatient basis. In the case of a toddler having a tonsillectomy, doctors will more than likely keep the child in the hospital overnight.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes only 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The surgeon will remove the tonsils through the mouth and your child will be put in a recovery room. If all is well, he will be released to go home in a few hours.
After the surgery, your child will have pain in his throat and ears. More than likely, the doctor will prescribe pain medication. You must keep him hydrated and feed him only clear liquids for the first day, followed by a soft diet. Avoid food or drinks that will sting or burn the throat and keep him home resting for about a week. Your child should fully recover within two weeks.