Ear, Nose and Throat of San Ramon      
N. Parhizkar, M.D.      
5401 Norris Canyon Road, Suite 302      
San Ramon, CA 94583      
925 277-9000       

Pediatric Tonsillitis, Tonsillectomy, Adenoids and Adenoidectomy

Tonsillitis most often occurs in children ranging from age 3 to 15. However it is not unusual to have problems with your tonsils as an adult, especially if you have a history of recurrent sore throats; it is possible that you have developed a chronic tonsillitis process. A tonsillectomy is recommended only after thorough evaluation and consideration of alternative treatments.

Some of the symptoms of pediatric tonsillitis include pain when swallowing, and fever. Many cases of tonsillitis can be treated with a strong regimen of antibiotics. For recurrent or chronic tonsillitis, a tonsillectomy may be recommended. The following list of indications can help determine the need for a tonsillectomy.

  • Tonsil or adenoidal enlargement with airway obstruction and sleep disturbance and/or obstructive sleep apnea
  • Orofacial growth abnormalities caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Recurring tonsillitis, ear infections and streptococcal tonsillitis
  • Persistent strep throat that does not respond to medical therapy
  • Chronic tonsillitis that does not respond to antibiotic treatment
  • Chronic inflamed tonsils with halitosis (bad breath)

Adenoids and Adenoidectomy

An infected adenoid or enlarged adenoid can block the nose or Eustachian tubes, increasing recurrent or chronic middle ear infections (Otitis Media.) An infected or enlarged adenoid can also cause a chronic buildup of mucus and bacteria that may lead to infection of the nose (rhinitis) or even infection of the sinuses (sinusitis). When a child's nasal passages are blocked by an enlarged adenoid, symptoms such as snoring or constant mouth breathing often appear. In younger children, blockage can interfere with respiration, especially at night when the muscles of the throat are relaxed. This condition, known as sleep apnea, can cause actual pauses in a child's breathing and can be a significant threat to a child's health. Children with sleep apnea appear to work hard at breathing during sleep; they may perspire, be restless or change positions frequently. Inability to breathe through the nose with chronic mouth breathing may also cause abnormalities in dental and facial growth.

If your child is exhibiting the symptoms of enlarged or infected adenoids, we encourage you to schedule an evaluative appointment with us. Dr. Parhizkar may elect to treat infected or enlarged adenoids with one or several courses of antibiotic therapy. However, if this fails to resolve the problem or has been tried previously, a surgical procedure to remove the adenoids, called an adenoidectomy, may be recommended.