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Corpus Christi ENT Sinus and Allergy

Chronic Tonsillitis

How are tonsil and adenoid diseases treated

Bacterial infections of the tonsils, especially those caused by streptococcus, are first treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, removal of the tonsils and/or adenoids may be recommended if there are recurrent infections despite antibiotic therapy, and/or difficulty breathing due to enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. Such obstruction to breathing causes snoring and disturbed sleep that leads to daytime sleepiness in adults and behavioral problems in children.

Chronic infection can affect other areas such as the eustachian tube – the passage between the back of the nose and the inside of the ear. This can lead to frequent ear infections and potential hearing loss. Recent studies indicate adenoidectomy may be a beneficial treatment for some children with chronic earaches accompanied by fluid in the middle ear (otitis media with effusion).

In adults, the possibility of cancer or a tumor may be another reason for removing the tonsils and adenoids. In some patients, especially those with infectious mononucleosis, severe enlargement may obstruct the airway. For those patients, treatment with steroids (e.g., cortisone) is sometimes helpful.

Tonsillitis and its symptoms

Tonsillitis is an infection in one or both tonsils. One sign is swelling of the tonsils. Other signs or symptoms are:

  • Redder than normal tonsils
  • A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
  • A slight voice change due to swelling
  • Sore throat
  • Uncomfortable or painful swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
  • Fever
  • Bad breath

Enlarged adenoids and their symptoms

If your or your child’s adenoids are enlarged, it may be hard to breathe through the nose. Other signs of constant enlargement are:

  • Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose most of the time
  • Nose sounds “blocked” when the person speaks
  • Noisy breathing during the day
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Snoring at night

Breathing stops for a few seconds at night during snoring or loud breathing (sleep apnea)

Tonsillectomy with Coblation technology

A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils. Tonsillectomies are performed for a variety of reasons with two of the most common being chronic tonsillitis and tonsillar hypertrophy (enlarged tonsils). Tonsillectomy is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States. Tonsillectomies are a relatively quick procedure, and most patients can go home the same day.

Dr. Todd Weiss offers a gentler treatment for tonsillectomy called COBLATION Technology. COBLATION technology combines radiofrequency energy and saline to create a plasma field. The plasma field remains at a relatively low temperature as it precisely ablates the targeted tonsil tissue. The COBLATION plasma field removes target tissue while minimizing damage to surrounding areas.

Why was COBLATION tonsillectomy developed?

Surgeons and patients alike have searched for years for a better way to remove the tonsils. Because the tonsils are located in the throat, removing them with an electrosurgery device can often lead to painful damage of nearby tissue. COBLATION technology offered an alternative to high-heat electrosurgery.

How is a COBLATION tonsillectomy different from a standard tonsillectomy?

Unlike the electrosurgery procedure, a COBLATION tonsillectomy generates significantly lower temperatures on contacted tissue. This gives surgeons the ability to precisely remove targeted tonsil tissue while preserving the nearby healthy tissue.

COBLATION technology precisely removes tissue by dissolving the tonsils at the molecular level rather than rupturing or burning the cells.

American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck
American Acedemy of Otolayrngic Allergy
American Medical Association
Texas Medical Association
Nueces County Medical Society