Tonsil Stone Removal Procedures (If Home Remedies Do Not Work)

Doctor checks patient’s tonsil

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  • If home remedies do not alleviate your tonsil stones, there are two medical procedures that may be able to help
  • To maintain your immune system health after a tonsillectomy, it’s important to nourish yourself with whole, organic foods, especially those that are rich in vitamin C

If home remedies do not alleviate your tonsil stones, there are two medical procedures that may be able to help. Your choice will depend on the size of your tonsils, finances and availability of medical facilities.

Tonsil Cryptolysis

Cryptolysis uses specialized equipment to reduce your tonsil crypts, eliminating the need to remove your tonsils. There are two types available:1,2

Laser: Using a hand-held carbon dioxide laser, a doctor will vaporize and remove tonsil tissue to shrink the crypts. Aside from treating tonsil stones, this procedure is generally recommended for those who have recurrent tonsillitis, sore throat or halitosis.3

Bipolar radiofrequency ablation (coblation): An ionized saline layer creates a steady stream of heat to remove a part or the entirety of the affected tonsil. Its main advantages include faster healing, less pain and minimal post-operation maintenance compared to more traditional approaches.

While the two choices look promising because there’s no need to remove your tonsils, they have certain disadvantages. There’s a chance your crypts can regrow (thus creating stones again), and your tonsils can still become infected in the future.4

Tonsillectomy

If cryptolysis does not work, you may consider permanent removal of your tonsils, or tonsillectomy. Aside from reducing the chances of stones from developing, it also lowers the risk of sleep apnea and tonsillitis. There are several types of tonsillectomy:5

Cold knife dissection: This is the most basic tonsillectomy performed. A scalpel is used to completely remove your tonsils with minimal bleeding.

Electrocauterization: Using a special device, a doctor will burn the tonsils and the surrounding tissue. However, it may cause pain after the operation.

Harmonic scalpel: Also known as ultrasonography, this method uses ultrasound energy to vibrate a blade. This results in a clean cut that also cauterizes the tissue. It is believed to cause less pain and damage compared to electrocauterization.

Radiofrequency ablation: This technique uses radiofrequency energy to shrink your tonsils over several sessions. However, it is only recommended for people who have large tonsils.

Microdebrider: It is a small, rotary shaving device used to partially smoothen the tonsils crypts. After the operation, a dressing is placed to help prevent inflammation and infection in the mouth.6

Since your tonsils are the first line of defense against bacteria and viruses, you may be concerned that removing them can compromise your immune system.7 Currently, this topic is being debated in the medical community.

In a 2015 meta-analysis that reviewed 35 studies between 1971 and 2014, only four studies concluded that tonsillectomy may have a negative effect on your immune system.8 Based on this finding, tonsillectomy can be considered generally safe, but it’s still better to exhaust all non-surgical options before considering this procedure. You should also take certain precautions to protect your health after surgery.

To maintain your immune system health after tonsillectomy, it’s important to nourish yourself with whole, organic foods, especially those that are rich in vitamin C. Oranges, bell pepper, broccoli, garlic and spinach are good options you can add to your diet to maintain proper immune system function.9

MORE ABOUT TONSIL STONES

Tonsil Stones: Introduction

What Are Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil Stones Symptoms

Tonsil Stones Causes

Tonsil Stones Treatment

How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones

Tonsil Stones Removal

Tonsil Stones Prevention

Tonsil Stones FAQ

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