Information Leaflet: Surgical removal of the palatine tonsils
As a result of your health problems and the condition of your palatine tonsils we recommended to have your palatine tonsils removed (tonsillectomy, TE).
The most frequent reasons for this surgery are:
- chronic tonsillitis and the possible consequences of such conditions
- (e.g.. frequent sore throat, bad breath, heart and skin diseases)
- existing or healed tonsillar abcesses
- extreme enlargement of the tonsils with swallowing and breathing problems.
How is this surgery performed?
Under anaesthesia, an oral spatula is used to keep the patient's mouth open during surgery. With a cut directly adjacent to the tonsil, the exterior of the palatine tonsil, the so-called capsule of the tonsil, is prepared. Along this capsule, the tonsil is peeled off from the adjacent muscles. The final step consists in careful control of bleeding.
What are the risks involved as a result of this surgery?
Normally, surgical wounds are protected by wound dressings. This is impossible in the case of a tonsillectomy. Already 6 hours after surgery, the patient is allowed and able to drink, eat and speak. Thus, it is understandable that there is a risk of postoperative haemorrhage in the days following such surgery. This is the reason why a 6-day patient monitoring on the ward is required. For your own good you should not prematurely leave the clinic at your own risk! All other complications (dental injury, changes in the pitch of the voice, disturbances with respect to swallowing and taste) are extremely seldom. Of course, you will have to expect some slight postoperative pain for a few days.
What do I have to do before, during and after the surgery?
Already 10 days before surgery you are not allowed to take ANY KIND OF PAINKILLERS as these drugs disturb coagulation! Post-operative, blood pressure should not be unnecessarily increased so as to avoid bleeding. Even though you are permitted to get up very soon, any kind of physical effort has to be strictly avoided. This means that bathing, showering and washing your hair is not permitted for a period of 10 days after surgery. In addition, the sore shall not be stressed by avoidable movements, sour or spicy food. This includes fresh fruit (even bananas or tomatoes), fruit juices or carbonated beverages. Your dental care should be restricted to the front region of your mouth without tooth paste for the moment. Please avoid gargling and the use of mouth-rinse, including chewing gum. In the first days soft food is very beneficial, primarily pudding, yoghurt, icecream or mashed potatoes.
After your discharge you should continue to avoid food containing acid or food that is crumbly or difficult to chew. Until the date of your follow-up exam, you should stay at home for the most part and avoid any kind of physical effort. After this follow-up exam you will be permitted to wash your hair, shower and perform moderate physical activities. Only when the wound is completely healed (approx. 3 weeks after surgery) you will be allowed to engage in your normal sports activities and/or make a holiday trip.
Should bleeding occur after having been discharged from hospital, the following measures have to be immediately taken for safety's sake:
- sit down, if necessary, slightly bend your chest so as to avoid swallowing larger quantities of blood;
- put a cold, wet towel in your neck;
- - call our offices or (after office hours) FIRST CALL the hospital, Dritter Orden Clinic, Ward 1 (the nurses there will inform us immediately) AND THEN come to Station 1 (Ward 1) yourself.
Phone (office): 089 166 50 55
Phone Stat. 18 : 089 1795-1318