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Experiences please of tonsillectomy in young children...should we go for it?

(56 Posts)
bootus Thu 17-Jan-13 15:31:36

DS 4 has suffered for the past 2 winters with reccuring tonsilitis. When he isn't having an attack his tonsils are very enlarged and he snores terribly.

Last spring we were referred to ENT, we saw the consultant in May who basically took one look and told us he can go on the waiting list immediately. We asked him the probability of DS growing out of it and he said 50/50. We asked to be deferred until after the summer to see how he was. He had one mild attack over the summer but was generally quite well even though they remained enlarged. We saw the consultant again in October and when we asked if we could again defer and see how the winter went he discharged us but told us to be re-referred at any time and he would 'have them out'.

Anyway, DS has just had another terrible attack and as always happens his eating becomes awful for several weeks after, watching him chew and swallow is, for want of another word, painful!!! He has lost weight. We see this pattern after every bout. The snoring is just as bad, if not worse. We are seeing the gp next week to discuss a re-referral but if we do see ENT again we cant waste their time and will be put on the waiting list. We have had so much conflicting advice; some saying its the best thing they did for their children, others saying we should hold tight and wait and I'm worried about putting him through an operation/under anaesthetic/recovery unless its absolutely necessary, equally I dont want these bouts that floor him to affect his schooling when he starts rec next year. Any advice/experiences appreciated.Thankyou

bootus Wed 23-Jan-13 21:22:19

Thanks so much elibean, really appreciated and great to have somewhere to ask for advice/tips. The consultant wanted to put us on the waiting list last time so I don't think it'll be too long once the initial appt comes through. I feel pleased not to be dithering anymore and to have heard such positive experiences.

alibobins Fri 01-Feb-13 16:33:25

Had my ds2 pre op yesterday and the nurse has now terrified me hmm she said ds will be in lots of pain and it will be a rough recovery. He also had to have an ECG, Xray and blood tests.

Missymoomum Tue 05-Feb-13 13:09:19

That's not a very helpful comment by the nurse alibobins and not something that the posters on here including myself have experienced with their children post op, so hopefully he will be fine. Yes it's good to warn you that they will be in discomfort and obviously not everyone's recovery is the same but it's not helpful to scare you. All being well your DS will be fine. When is his op?

alibobins Thu 07-Feb-13 21:19:08

Ds2 op is on Tuesday sad
Part of me can't wait as ds really struggles to breathe and eat and is constantly gagging but the other half of me feels sick and terrified sad I'm really hoping he will recover well.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Thu 07-Feb-13 21:40:57

For us it was amazing change in DS
he had it done the week after his 3rd birthday
he was supposed to be in overnight, we were given a chart for medication (give * at 11am * at 2pm * at 4pm etc) told to give it as per the chart for 2 weeks without waiting to see if he needed it.
he wanted to see them put the canula in (I DID NOT!!) and he wanted to see them inject the white liquid in. and within seconds he was totally asleep and we left the room.
40 minutes later we were called to say we could come in and he was screaming. it really frightened me but he had gone to sleep in one room with me and woken in another with lovely but strange nurses round him.

we cuddled for 10 ish mins and then he said he was hungry.
the nurses said we SHOULD wait a bit but an hour after the operation he had 2 mini packets of cornflakes and some fruit juice.
after that he was jumping on the bed, walking up and down the corridors chatting to the nurses.
The consultant came round to check things and said that as we were doing so well that after 8 hours we could go home so we did.. we stuck to the medication chart and after 2 weeks we missed a dose to see what happened and he was fine.
it has been amazing. eating, sleeping, energy levels. like a different little boy

sorry for the essay but it really was the right decision for us.

alibobins Thu 07-Feb-13 22:10:42

Never that has made me feel so much better thank you.
Dh has booked the week off to juggle school runs and look after me and ds smile

alibobins i can give you another perspective, don't know if it will help or not.
I work in theatres and look after adults and children post op, with around 10-15 tonsillectomies a day.
In my experience, the worse bit for the parents is watching their child go off to sleep, and the waiting.
The children are always given plenty of pain medication before they are woke up so very rarely have any pain in recovery, and are always prescribed plenty for the ward.
Sometimes the morphine gives children a really itchy nose and they are a bit snotty (with a bit of blood stained snot), but generally children ping awake and are back to 'normal' really quickly.
A lot of parents (and the adult patients) are so relieved when it is done, as the experience of surgery is so much easier than repeated bouts of tonsillitis.
Obviously all surgeries have risks but everyone in theatres where I work are complete professionals and have years of experience and training behind them.
Hope all goes well on Tuesday x

alibobins Fri 08-Feb-13 07:48:30

Thankyou smile I am dreading the anaesthetic ds1 has had plenty but is so used to them ds2 is a little more of a sensitive little sole and clingy so I know I will cry. He's so used to not being well he's been on antibiotics for 8 weeks now we have to stop them Monday x

MrsRoss26 Fri 08-Feb-13 07:57:31

I know this isn't what was asked, but for the flip side my DH had his tonsils removed 5 years ago and this was amazing. He had suffered recurrent (i.e. never ending) tonsilitis since early puberty and had several horrid health problems related to this. It took ma-y doctor referrals and an MP's interference to get the approval to have them out.

Since that time he has had no health issues and is strong as an ox grin If you have the option to have them out, go for it and prevent the potentially horrendous adult issues which can be debilitating.

MrsRoss26 Fri 08-Feb-13 08:00:21

Oh, and a fun side.note. The surgeon told my DH that his were the largest tonsils he'd ever removed and he did a lot of those surgeries!

alibobins Tue 12-Feb-13 07:58:30

Well today is tonsil day sad not sure if his adinoids are coming out too the surgeon will decide in theatre.
I will update later.

poachedeggs Tue 12-Feb-13 08:12:32

DS had an adenotonsillectomy shortly before his 4th birthday. It was terrifying, and the first week afterwards was really tough if I'm honest, but it made a big difference to him. He had sleep apnoea so was always tired, which really affected his behaviour and attention span, and he was always very emotional. He started sleeping through regularly as soon as the pain resolved, which he'd never done, and turned into a normal happy boy.

All surgery has risks. Follow the advice and instructions of the staff. The biggest risk is bleeding afterwards, but the doctors will explain it to you. I don't regret it. In fact I suspect DD is now going the same way.

alibobins Tue 12-Feb-13 08:50:46

Thanks poached.

Elibean Tue 12-Feb-13 10:57:14

Good luck ali smile

We've never looked back either (dd2 had hers out at 2, and is now a thriving 6 year old). Biggest tip: make sure you stay on top of pain meds afterwards, give them a few minutes before they are due and don't miss any doses even if he seems fine.

And don't be surprised if crisps go down surprisingly well - rough foods better than smooth or sticky. Let us know how it goes!

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 12-Feb-13 18:31:53

how did you get on?? been thinkif og you

alibobins Tue 12-Feb-13 19:59:49

Ds2 is doing really well he even managed to eat some sausage and beans smile he had had nurofen morphine and paracetamol so is comfortable.
He went to theatre at 1.30 and was back on the ward an hour later he slept for another 4 hours. The nurses did say the pain usually kicks in when they are at home x x

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 12-Feb-13 20:40:12

please keep up with pain med schedule..
so pleased things went well. I am sure the difference will make it all worth it smile

alibobins Wed 13-Feb-13 03:12:24

Poor ds is in a lot of pain hmm the nurses are giving him pain relief but he is struggling to take it confused

poachedeggs Wed 13-Feb-13 06:22:51

Unfortunately it does seem to get worse before it gets better sad

In a few days this will all be a memory. I did have to force DS to take his pain relief on a couple of occasions which was awful, but it works to ease things very quickly. Hope this passes soon.

alibobins Wed 13-Feb-13 08:09:27

Any tips on getting him to eat and drink the hospital won't discharge us until he has and he won't let anything near his mouth hmm

poachedeggs Wed 13-Feb-13 18:41:01

Ice lollies or yogurt? Milkshake? DS had a choice of Kelloggs cereals which he enjoyed once the milk had softened them.

bootus Wed 13-Feb-13 20:50:02

Hi alibobins, hope your ds has eaten and been discharged. Thinking of you. We are still waiting for referral appointment, ds is struggling again with his tonsils. It's awful seeing him so pale and skinny!

alibobins Thu 14-Feb-13 09:44:20

We are still here poor ds is now on IV fluids and morphine hmm the nurses did say that children usually bounce back really quick. The doctors have been round and said looks like we are staying in again tonight.

bootus Thu 14-Feb-13 09:52:31

Your poor boy. Really sorry to hear that. Hopefully the pain relief and iv will do the trick and he will be right as rain soon. Quite scary to hear how poorly they can be after.

123rd Thu 14-Feb-13 10:21:03

When my ds had grommets in and tonsils and adenoids out a few years ago he did have to have paracetamol suppositories for two doses. He did stay in over night but was right as rain the next morning. Asking to eat crisps when we got home!!!

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