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Tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy is the second-most common surgery of childhood, but is less commonly performed in adults. Tonsillectomy accounts for 25% of all operations performed by otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat surgeons).

Anatomy and Physiology
They are generally ovoid or bilobed tissue collections with a very irregular surface.
They are found between the front and back tonsillar arches, located along the sides of the pharynx (back of the throat) (Figure 1). The tonsillar fossa is the depression between the arches in which the tonsil lies.

The tonsils are highly vascular (contains many blood vessels), which helps them to perform their function of protecting against infection, as foreign material enters the body through the mouth. The blood supply comes from several branches of the external carotid artery (Figure 2).

The nerve supply is mainly from the ninth cranial nerve, which provides sensation to much of the throat. This nerve also supplies sensation to a small part of the ear, which explains why ear pain is frequently associated with throat infections or experienced after tonsillectomy.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 1

Figure 2
 

Tonsillectomy is a outpatient safe procedure. Tonsils play a rol on controlling infection, but when they are diseased they should be remove specially if the patient has obstructive breathing specially at night. The patient snores, has mouth breathing, this can predispose to obstructive apnea (breathing stop during sleep), with very serious sequela for the patient.

Additional Image - Infected Tonsils

Additional Image
 


For more information about this Surgery you can visit the following site:
http://www.entnet.org/healthinfo/throat/tonsils.cfm

 


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