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Tonsillitis in Children

When a child is suffering from recurring infections, known as tonsillitis, or breathing problems due to enlarged tonsils, it’s very common to have their tonsils and adenoids surgically removed. Tonsils and adenoids are clusters of tissue found in the back of the throat that have a tendency to trap bacteria and viruses that you breathe in through your nose. Sometimes these tissues become infected or enlarged causing a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, tender lymph nodes and breathing difficulty. This inflammation is known as tonsillitis.

If your child has been suffering from any of the above complications, they may need to be evaluated by an ENT. While not all children require a tonsil removal, it can provide relief for those suffering from chronic issues.

You can count on the highly-trained SLUCare Physician Group ENTs at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon to provide your child safe and complete care. Our team has extensive experience in tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy procedures.

When meeting with you and your child, we conduct thorough evaluations to better understand their unique needs and condition. We consult closely with you to help you understand your medical options. Questions you may have regarding your child’s treatment can be answered by a number of our experts. Before, during, and after the procedure, our doctors and nursing staff make sure your child’s experience is as comfortable and easy as possible.

Treating Tonsillitis


Electrocautery is used to burn the tonsillar tissue and assist in reducing blood loss through cauterization. Because the heat of this procedure can result in thermal injury to surrounding tissue it may result in more discomfort for your child during their postoperative procedure.

Bipolar Radiofrequency Ablation

This procedure produces an ionized saline layer that disrupts molecular bonds without the harmful effects of heat. Bipolar radiofrequency ablation is done under general anesthesia, in the operating room, and can be used for enlarged tonsils and chronic or recurrent infections. If your child undergoes this specific procedure they will experience far less pain, faster healing, and less postoperative care.

Recovering From a Tonsillectomy

Recovery after a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy typically takes about two weeks. During that time, your child will need to stick with soft foods and refrain from vigorous activity. After surgery, our team will follow-up with you to make sure your child is healing properly.

If your child begins to experience any postoperative bleeding, call us immediately. While this is extremely rare, it is a serious complication.

Your child might run a low-grade fever and feel minor throat and ear pain after surgery. It’s very important for your child to drink lots of fluids during the recovery period to help reduce pain, fevers, and the risk of dehydration.

The ENT team at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon is here guide you through the recovery process. We'll help your child bounce back and stay healthy. Request an appointment with one of our specialists today to see how we can help.

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