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ENT & Allergy

Otolaryngology & Allergy Clinic located in Midwest City, OK

If your child has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it's likely due to swollen tonsils and adenoids. Board-certified otolaryngologist Jeff Goodell, DO, of ENT & Allergy in Midwest City, Oklahoma, can resolve your child's OSA by performing a tonsillectomy. Dr. Goodell uses advanced coblation techniques where possible rather than traditional surgery to reduce pain and bleeding. To find out more, call ENT & Allergy or book an appointment online today.

Tonsillectomy Q & A

What is a tonsillectomy?

A tonsillectomy is a procedure for removing the tonsils in your throat. It often takes place alongside an adenoidectomy.

Tonsils and adenoids support your immune system. You can't see your adenoids as they're in the upper nasal cavity, but if you open your mouth wide, your tonsils are the two bumps you can see on the back of your throat.

Your tonsils and adenoids help trap microorganisms like viruses and bacteria in your nose or mouth and produce antibodies to kill them. Sometimes tonsils and adenoids become chronically swollen, affecting the way you breathe.

When might I need a tonsillectomy?

Tonsillectomy is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. In rare cases it may be helpful for adults with chronic snoring problems.

OSA is a condition that affects the way you breathe when asleep. During sleep, someone with OSA repeatedly stops breathing through the night for short periods. In children, the most frequent cause of sleep apnea is swollen tonsils and adenoids.

What are the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?

OSA can affect both children and adults, but where adults typically experience excessive daytime sleepiness, children tend to exhibit behavioral problems as a complication of OSA.

Your child might be performing poorly at school and have difficulty concentrating or learning. They may also have hyperactive tendencies. Nonbehavioral symptoms include:

  • Snoring and snorting
  • Coughing or choking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Restless sleep
  • Night sweats
  • Bed-wetting
  • Night terrors

If your child has a diagnosis of OSA and other treatment methods aren't proving effective, your provider at ENT & Allergy might suggest tonsillectomy.

How is tonsillectomy carried out?

Dr. Goodell typically uses a technique called coblation to carry out a tonsillectomy. Coblation is less painful than traditional tonsil surgery, and the bleeding risk during the procedure is minimal.

Coblation uses radiofrequency technology to remove the swollen tissues via a wand in one of two ways:

Extracapsular tonsillectomy

Dr. Goodell removes the tonsil, complete with the external capsule surrounding it.

Intracapsular tonsillectomy

Dr. Goodell targets the tonsil's outer surface up to the capsule, but leaves the capsule itself intact.

Children with sleep apnea typically experience an improvement of their symptoms within six months of having a tonsillectomy.

If your child has OSA and isn't benefiting from their current treatment program, call ENT & Allergy to discuss tonsillectomy or book an appointment online today.