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"When doing a tonsillectomy, is it nessessary to remove part of the soft palate to reach the tonsils?"

ZocdocAnswersWhen doing a tonsillectomy, is it nessessary to remove part of the soft palate to reach the tonsils?


My brother has OSA, and had work done to try and fix it including removing tonsils and adenoids, doing work to sinuses and turbinates, and something involving the maxillary. Since I personally had a UPPP several years ago, I advised him not to get his uvula removed due to the side effects, and he did not consent to such a procedure. When he woke up though, he discovered that his soft palate had been trimmed and uvula removed. The doctor claims the soft palate had to be trimmed to reach the tonsils and that he took out the uvula as a "bonus" to help with the OSA. Is it common to trim the palate to reach the tonsils? Would this be included in a consent for a tonsillectomy? He requested his signed consent forms and found one for tonsillectomy (and the other requested procedures) but not for uvula or palette surgery.


Sorry to hear that your brother had a surgery with an outcome that he did not anticipate. I would recommend that he discuss the results, and outcomes with his surgeon, as I am not privy to the specifics of the case, and the discussion pre and post-op that his surgeon had with him. So as a result I am not up to date on the specifics of the case (nor should I be in this setting). If he is unsatisfied with his surgeon, I would recommend that he get another opinion from an ENT (or otolaryngologist). There are a number of different tonsil in everyone. There are adenoids, which Are like tonsils in the back of the nose, lingual tonsils (which are tonsils along the base of your tongue), and palatine tonsils (which are the tonsils that most people refer to). The pharyngeal tonsils do extend superiorly up into the soft palate, which needs to be reflected away when resecting the superior pole of the tonsils. They also extend down to the base of the tongue, and a cuff of the lingual tonsils is typically taken with a tonsillectomy. The uvula is not typically included in a tonsillectomy, unless other circumstances dictate the removal of it. I hope this helps, and answers your questions. Again I recommend that your brother discuss any questions he might have with his surgeon.

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