Chronic Hypertrophic Tonsillitis

Chronic Hypertrophic Tonsillitis

  Autor NN Team Data: 17.09.2009

Chronic Hypertrophic Tonsillitis
The tonsils are paired organs, almond-like shaped, distributed on the right and left side of the throat. Some while a go, they were considered to have no role for the body and thus the tonsillectomy trend, the tonsils removal which was done without being necessary, just because "if we are at the hospital, let's take the tonsils out too". Nowadays, the tonsils are known to play an important role in the prevention and spreading of the infections, being a type of filter for bacteria and viruses. 

The tonsils secrete antibodies, thus fighting against infections. The problem is that during this process the tonsils themselves get inflamed very easily, leading to tonsillitis: they become red, painful and collect pus. This is a frequent disease at children, which is cured easily without problems. As they are growing, children develop tonsillitis more rare, until they stop it. It is believed that once aging, the tonsils are not so important for providing immunity and that's why they don't get inflamed anymore. 

The serious problems occur when the tonsillitis becomes chronic. We are talking about a chronic disease when the tonsillitis lasts at least six months and is resistant to the treatment. Because of the long lasting or short term but repeated infections, the tonsils which are permanently stimulated to produce antibodies may get bigger and that's why we are talking about hypertrophic tonsils. 
The chronic hypertrophic tonsillitis is a combination between the chronic inflammation and the enlargement of the tonsils. The symptoms are easy to notice: sore throat especially when the child needs to swallow, breathing difficulties both awake or sleeping (snoring, apnea), low appetite, fatigue, general discomfort. The tonsils obstruct the throat and the child breathes heavily, getting tired very fast, maybe even chocking with food because it has no way to pass, and the voice is slightly modified. 

The diagnosis is easily to establish as the tonsils are visible. They become so prominent that sometimes they touch themselves, get red and painful. It is important to determine the cause of the tonsillitis, because it might be just a simple symptom of an infection in the organism and not a proper disease. The doctor must identify the pathogen and prescribe the proper treatment. Most times, the chronic tonsillitis is about a bacteria or a streptococcus. 

Sometimes, the removal of tonsils is the only solution to chronic hypertrophic tonsillitis, because this tends to last despite the treatment. But, although we're talking about a common surgery, the decision must not be taken in a hurry. Let's not forget that tonsillectomy is still a surgery, it's invasive, it needs anesthesia and has some risks, the most important being the risk of throat bleeding during and after the surgery. The decision of surgery must be taken by the pediatrician and the audiologist, who will assess the benefits and the risks of surgery. But if the tonsils are so big that they obstruct a normal breathing and food swallowing, maybe the doctors will decide that there are more benefits. During the surgery, the child's mouth is kept open with special tools, the tonsils are grabbed and pulled to the center of the mouth where their fixation tissues are cut. The bleedings are controlled with clamps, sutures or cautery. If everything works out well, the child leaves the hospital on the same day or the next day after the surgery. 

For a while, about 14 days, he will have sore throat and ear pains, nasal congestion and will swallow with difficulty. Mild painkiller can be used to reduce the pains. He will resume the normal activity gradually, after 2- 3 days of rest. After a week, he may go back to school or kindergarten. 

Read the English version of this article: Chronic Hypertrophic Tonsillitis