Tonsillotomy (tonsil reduction)

An enlargement of the palatal tonsils may lead to significant problems in children. In the past, the complete surgical removal of the palatal tonsils (tonsillectomy) was recommended. A minimally invasive method involving only a partial removal of the tonsil tissue offers a patient-friendly procedure which spares your child not only the hospital stay lasting several days, but also the typical surgical risks of a tonsillectomy.

What are tonsils?                                                

The palatal tonsils are part of the immune system and play an important role in fighting off pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. They are positioned between the two palatal arches in the rear part of the oral cavity and can be recognised there as protrusions on both sides.

What does the procedure involve?

ENT doctors have several minimally invasive procedures such as radio frequency or laser methods at their disposal. In our practice, we apply the radio frequency method, which allows for the removal of the excess palatal tonsil tissue in a way which is particularly gentle on the tissue, targeted, low in bleeding and low-risk.

When is a tonsillotomy appropriate?

The objective is to “make room” in the throat area, so to speak, thus enabling the child to breathe and swallow unhindered once again. If the palatal tonsils move backwards during sleep, the air that moves through the area produces typical sounds: The child snores. This can even lead to breathing stops (sleep apnoea) in many cases. The sleep is restless and frequently broken. The results of the poor sleep are noticeable during the day: The children are tired, unable to concentrate or keyed up and their performance is below par. Since their sense of smell and taste is often additionally limited and even swallowing can be restricted, their appetite is reduced and their growth and thriving may be disrupted. Combined with enlarged pharyngeal tonsils (polyps), other symptoms such as an increased susceptibility to infection, hearing difficulties, aberrations in the jaw and tooth area and speech development delays may occur.

What are the special features of the tonsillotomy?

The tonsillotomy is an ideal method to achieve a very good treatment result without exposing the child to the risks of a tonsillectomy – the complete removal of the palatal tonsils. This means less pain, a lower risk of secondary bleeding and thus a far quicker recovery. An additional advantage: The tonsils that remain can continue to carry out their role in immunity. This is especially significant for smaller children, since the immunological learning stage is not complete until school-going age.

Is an out-patient intervention sufficient?

During the partial removal of the palatal tonsils, the risk of a complication is distinctly low. International studies have shown that children recover significantly faster after a tonsillotomy and complain about pain far less often than after a tonsillectomy.

Is any special follow-up treatment required?

No, only one or two follow-up inspections are required for progress monitoring. In most cases, the children are back to normal and free from symptoms just a few days after the intervention – and symptoms such as bad breath have also disappeared.

Are these costs covered by health insurance?

Both private and statutory health insurance providers cover all costs of the surgery.