To want dd to have an operation for 'vanity' reasons.

(176 Posts)
MsBrown Tue 21-Aug-12 15:54:00

My daughter has cryptic tonsils. This means she suffers terrible from tonsil stones or tonsilloths. They can range from the size of a bit of sweetcorn, to a big wad of chewed gum. And they stink. Really stink. They're basically calcified bacteria, saliva and mucus. (Sorry if you're having your tea!)

Whenever she has a huge one in her tonsil (which is at least once a month), she goes off food for a few days due to the rotten taste in her mouth. And she also says it's uncomfortable as she can feel it. This carries on until it eventually falls out. I've tried on one occassion to nudge it out with a cotton bud. It worked, but dd didn't like it, so i'll not be doing it again.

The smaller stones are almost a daily occurence.

The doctor has been frank. The only way to get rid of the tonsil stones is to get rid of the tonsils. He's assured me that the crypts in her tonsils will reduce by the time she's an adult, but they'll always be unaturally large thus she'll always have tonsil stones.

He said he'd refer me to an ENT specialist, but dd is unlikely to be a canditate
for the operation just because she has 'bad breath'. She's never had tonsilitis and only gets a throat infection once a year. The GP said i should consider if
i want to subject my child to the risks of an operation just for 'vanity reasons.'

DD is 5 so i think now is a good age, if ever she was going to get her tonsils out. I'm also worried that as she gets older, children will begin to pick on her for having bad breath. And i'm not exaggerating the smell. When she has a giant tonsil stone, even the doctor agreed it makes her have halitosis.

However, when i voiced my fears, he said that all children get bullied for a variety of reasons at school. If it's not bad breath, it's colour of hair, skin, clothes etc.

He seemed really reluctant to give me the referral tbh. And i've come home feeling like a terrible mum. Am i being unreasonable to want her to have this operation?

JustTheRightAmountOfWrong Tue 21-Aug-12 16:00:51

Do it. 100% do it. Children will make her life hell otherwise.

You have said that she goes off her food when the taste is really bad; I don't think then that this is purely vanity, a young child not eating for a few days is v unhealthy, so it's a health matter as well. And she has said it's uncomfortable. Therefore she is suffering. The op is a no brainer, surely.

My ex DP's little boy had his ears pinned back when he was eight after suffering a couple of years of bullying. As soon as he had the op, the bullying stopped and he was a happy child again.

I'd do it too. It's not for vanity, either - she's not eating for days at a time, and that's not good!

Schlock Tue 21-Aug-12 16:01:24

It's not that it's hard to find a surgeon who will perform the op it's just that you would have to take the funding decision to an exceptional funding panel as she doesn't fulfil the criteria for an automatic NHS op.

I'd ask the GP to fill in the exceptional funding forms myself, you never know they might decide in your favour. If they don't then you're going to have to pay for it.

wigglesrock Tue 21-Aug-12 16:01:27

God, take the ENT appt if you can get it, go in and kick up an enormous fuss etc - my dd (soon to be 5), has recurrent throat infections and I'm trying to get referral to get tonsils out - my GP has told me that we haven't a snowballs chance in hell, but has been very proactive logging GP visits, antibiotics etc and the advice she gave me was to make a big fuss and start to get very insistent. I had dd at GP this morning, for the 3rd time this summer holidays sad, on account of her waking up crying at 3am with the pain and she's really stoic so it must have been feckin' sore.

FalseStartered Tue 21-Aug-12 16:01:30

it's probably not so bad doing that procedure now, but after a few years of every day? and what happens if she wants to go on a residential trip or a sleep over?

can you get a 2nd opinion?

i would do it too. I don't think that's vanity...it's a quality of life issue IMO.

i had my tonsils out when i was 21 and it was horrendous. It gets much worse the older you get...

i had to clean out the craters in my tonisls with an ear bud - trust me it's no fun even if you do 'get used to it'.

RobinSparkles Tue 21-Aug-12 16:01:45

What about potential for harming mental health (because of aforementioned potential bullying)? Would she not meet it on those grounds.

bakingaddict Tue 21-Aug-12 16:01:57

I'd let her have the surgery done, I think it might make her life a bit unbearable when she gets older especially with such smelly breath...teenagers can be very cruel and I think your doctor is being a bit old school but obviously there are always risks with any form of surgery

TheCraicDealer Tue 21-Aug-12 16:02:30

If she's in discomfort and there's something you can do to alleviate it then go ahead. Tonsil stones are rotten (literally), the constant feeling you've got something in your throat, the taste...bleugh. You don't want to be waiting until the first time she comes home from school and says someone told her she smells when she talks.

I would do it if we're my child. And I bet the doctor would be having a tonsillectomy tomorrow, if he were suffering from this condition.

lisaro Tue 21-Aug-12 16:03:56

YADNBU. It's not vanity at all, poor girl. Hope she gets it sorted.

whattodoo Tue 21-Aug-12 16:04:20

I'd do it. Doesn't sound like vanity to me - they are intrusive enough to give her discomfort and put her off eating, not to mention the bad breath.

She will become more and more aware of them and the smell as she gets older - it could well affect her confidence.

I'd push for the referral to the ENT who will be able to give you a better informed opinion (i'm not disrespecting your gp, just that the ent will have a great deal more relevant experience)

CinnabarRed Tue 21-Aug-12 16:04:36

I'd do it without a second's hesitation.

chocoluvva Tue 21-Aug-12 16:04:51

I'm surprised your GP voiced his own opinion so strongly. The consultant you see will probably give you a more rounded view of the risks/benefits and be able to tell you about what would be involved in the op in more detail than your GP.
My DS had a noticeable though not huge lump on his eye. The consultant was very happy to remove it if I wanted. It would have been purely for 'cosmetic' reasons. (Surprisingly, it spontaneously reduced in size anyway so it stopped being an issue).
Tonsillectomies aren't done as often as they used to be, but your consultant should be happy to advise you on what the options for your DD are.
Poor you - not a nice position to be in. Good luck.

Noqontrol Tue 21-Aug-12 16:04:58

I'd do it. Doesn't sound like vanity reasons to me.

MadBusLady Tue 21-Aug-12 16:05:17

How's his personal hygiene then? Does he have a condition that makes part of him stink? hmm

chickydoo Tue 21-Aug-12 16:05:55

Tonsil stones are horrid.
I had them from aged 15 ish) to around 28
Stinky nasty things.
They are really uncomfortable. I used to fish them out with a cotton bud.
Strangely when I had my first child, that was it never had another tonsil stone confused
Can you get a private referral? I wish I had the courage to get my tonsils removed. You should try your doctor again.

lilbreeze Tue 21-Aug-12 16:06:09

Definitely push for a referral and hopefully the consultant will see things differently. If the gp won't refer, see a different gp.

Personally I don't consider it a case of vanity -there's a genuine medical need.

ovenchips Tue 21-Aug-12 16:07:13

I'd do it too.

Does the GP not consider a growing child being unable to eat properly for a few days each month a health issue??

Ephiny Tue 21-Aug-12 16:08:22

It sounds like more than a vanity/cosmetic issue to me too, if it feels uncomfortable for her and is affecting her appetite. And if there's an offensive smell that can't be very pleasant for her, never mind anyone else.

I assume it's up to the ENT specialist to decide, not the GP, so get the referral and see what they say. Is it a problem that's likely to resolve itself as she gets older if left alone (that's the only reason I can think to not do the surgery).

MsBrown Tue 21-Aug-12 16:08:51

Thanks all.

I'll go to the ENT and see what they say.

He just kept going on and on about the risks of surgery, and then made out like i was willing to risk my dd's life just to cure a bout of bad breath. (probably me being paranoid but i'm sure that was what he was thinking). He certainly called it 'vanity' reasons though.

squoosh Tue 21-Aug-12 16:09:49

Not all GPs are good GPs

MsBrown Tue 21-Aug-12 16:11:11

Hi Ephiny. Yes the GP has said that the crypts will reduce in size as she gets older, thus less things can sneak inside and less tonsil stones will occur.

My mum had them badly when she was little too, but they went away in her teen years.

However, i've done a lot of research and there are people who have them their whole lives.

Krumbum Tue 21-Aug-12 16:12:26

I don't think that is for vanity reasons. I used to get tonsil stones when I was younger and they really are horrible. Your mouth tastes disgusting and they can be very uncomfortable.
Does she have allergies or sinusitis? They can caused by acid reflux or post nasal drip so if that were sorted surgery would not be needed.

FariesDoExist Tue 21-Aug-12 16:13:39

Don't let him make you feel shallow, I would do it, even if bad breath was the only symptom. It's not vanity. Having bad breath could give your DD problems with confidence and she can't spend every morning having her tonsils checked and having earbuds poked in to nudge things out.

Keep pushing for referral.

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