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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

Suzannesee Sat 16-Feb-13 14:41:37

The longer you wait the worse this operation is for them.

My brother developed terrible bouts of tonsillitis over two winters in the early eighties. He was a bright boy but missed lots of schooling as a consequence.

'Not enough' was the opinion of the NHS consultant to whom he was referred. The sympathetic GP then sighed and told my parents; "You won't get anywhere with this problem on the NHS these days." She suggested they go private. They did and the consultant prefaced his examination by warning my parents that even he wouldn't take tonsils out unless really necessary - he had better more life-threatening ailments which required his skills.

He then took one look at my brother and immediately said; "This boy needs his tonsils out right away!"

And so he did. My brother, who was twelve, had a tough time post op. He haemorrhaged a week later and for a second time a week after that and needed a blood transfusion. It was scary, but he recovered, never looked back, and grew big and strong, healthy guy he is today.

The good thing is you are being offered the operation on the NHS. Go for it!

alibobins Sat 16-Feb-13 13:43:06

We are home and the difference in him is amazing he is eating well and playing smile
We are staying on top of pain medicine but think the worse is over.

alibobins Thu 14-Feb-13 22:30:44

Sorry about the hmm faces it was meant to be sad
Ds2 is still in hopefully home tomorrow.

Missymoomum Thu 14-Feb-13 15:13:24

Sorry to hear your ds is struggling post op. I feel really bad now being one of the ones telling you that he would be fine! I'm sure once they've got on top of his pain relief he'll come on leaps and bounds. Make sure he gets his meds on time if you're still in hospital, on a busy ward that's not always achieved (i should know as I'm a nurse!) so nag if you have to wink. Also this is a perfect time to let him have as much ice cream etc as he wants this should hopefully encourage him to move on to other foods. I explained to my dd that she would have to have quite soft foods at first and reassured her they would be ok and that helped, although don't do as I did and about 10 days post op I gave her some orange juice which she had actually had had from day 1 post op without me thinking and she must have had a raw spot in her throat and when she drank it the poor girl was crying with pain because it was stinging so much shock. Hope u get him home soon and try not to worry about stating another night we stayed 2 nights with dd.

itsallinmyhead Thu 14-Feb-13 10:40:15

My DD, now 14, had her tonsils removed at age 3.

I expected it to be a really teary, painful recovery, especially as she was so small. I couldn't have been more wrong!

She was up and about and eating within hours of the procedure.

It was a massive success; DD's snoring stopped, she was better rested due to better sleep & she has rarely been poorly with colds, viral infections etc.


alibobins Thu 14-Feb-13 10:27:09

On the plus side the snoring gasping and gagging have stopped his sats were stable so in terms of his breathing I can see the plus side already.

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!!!

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.

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 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!

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.

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 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 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

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 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 18:31:53

how did you get on?? been thinkif og you

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!

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

Thanks poached.

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 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.

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!

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.

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

headlesshorseman Thu 07-Feb-13 22:32:17

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

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