Your doctor may have suggested that a T&A (Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy) be considered as the definitive treatment of your throat / neck ailment. The following information will serve as a guide as to what to expect from this treatment option.
There are various indications for a Tonsillectomy. Recurrent or chronic tonsillitis despite antibiotic treatment, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea (pauses in breathing while sleeping), bad breath, malocclusion or dental abnormalities, chronic mouth-breathing, tonsillar stones (white pieces of material that looks like cottage cheese and have a foul smell), peritonsillar abscess (an infection that has spread to the deeper structures of the throat and neck), or persistent fevers, ulcers in the mouth or swollen lymph nodes.
Your Primary Care Physician will refer you to an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT or Otolaryngologist) Specialist. At that visit, the specialist will examine you and take a history documenting the information necessary to justify the procedure so that the Insurance Company understands the need for the Tonsillectomy.
You will be asked to avoid certain medications at least one week prior to surgery that might complicate the surgery, such as Motrin®, Advil®, Ibuprofen® or Aleve®. These medications tend to thin your blood and may put the patient at risk of bleeding. Although, do not be alarmed if your surgeon recommends using these same medications post-operatively for pain management in certain circumstances.
The office staff will arrange for a surgical date that meets your needs and will take care of insurance questions and pre-certification of the surgery.
You will be contacted a day or two in advance, informing you of your scheduled surgical time. Depending on the time your surgery is scheduled or any unusual medical conditions you have, you may be asked to show up for surgery about 1-2 hours before the scheduled surgery start time. Please remember to follow the staff’s advice as to having nothing to eat or drink before the surgery. Not understanding the importance of NPO (not eating or drinking prior to surgery) status can delay or even cancel your case. If you still have questions regarding eating and drinking before surgery, do not hesitate to call the day before surgery is scheduled for the answers you need.
Upon arrival for surgery, you will be checked in and given an identifying “name tag” or wristband. The nursing staff will verify the surgery being performed and the medications and allergies you may have. These questions will be verified multiple times for safety purposes.
Your surgeon will meet you just prior to surgery to ensure you have no last-minute questions or concerns. The surgeon will meet with the person that drove you as soon as surgery is completed to discuss the case and reassure them that all went well. At that time, the surgeon will give them an idea of what to expect in the recovery period, time out of work, dietary restrictions, and medications needed to keep comfortable.