The tonsils are lymphoid tissue in the back of your throat that the body uses to fight infections. The "adenoid" is the name given to a third lump of lymphoid tissue that sits between the tonsils, above the palate (the roof of the mouth), in the back of the nose. These 2 items are what is “removed” in a tonsillectomy
and are usually referred to as a single body part.
The tonsils and adenoids form a ring of tissue in the back of the throat. If the tonsils and adenoids are large, they narrow the airway and reduce the flow of air into and out of the lungs. This does not usually affect someone unless they have enlarged tonsils. When a person sleeps their throat muscles relax and the air flowing has a smaller space to move in and out of. If the tonsils
are large, the airspace could get even smaller and the combination of relaxed muscles and low air pressure can causes someone unable to be unable to breathe. This is OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).
Most of the patients with this issue can have a tonsillectomy and 90% of them will be relieved. There is a chance that the surgery will not help the patient with sleep apnea. If there is a more serious reason then the patient will be referred to a specialist, if not we may be able to help this patient and urge them to call our office to consult with our staff.