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My dd's due to get her tonsils and adenoids out next week, and i'm convinced something awful will happen to her :(

(13 Posts)
MsBrown Mon 08-Apr-13 15:01:06

Hi. You might remember me from this thread: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/a1545596-To-want-dd-to-have-an-operation-for-vanity-reasons

Well, dd's op is at the end of next week. Finally, after years of watching her cough up these tonsil stones and suffering from ear infections, it will be all over.

But the thought of her going to sleep and actually being operated on is keeping me up at night.

I've spoken to the nurse and doctor who will be dealing with her, but they keep saying risks are very minimal.

Stupidly, i then turned to Google. And i found this site: ent.about.com/b/2009/06/01/five-year-old-dies-after-tonsillectomy.htm

I've found a few online articles re deaths after tonsillectomies too.

And now i just want to cancel the whole thing. But i know dd will have a miserable life with those blasted things in her throat, but a miserable life is better than no life.

Her procedure will be at noon, and we'll be staying overnight. But what happens when she gets home? What happens if she starts bleeding?

What happens if she's allergic to the anasthetic, and doesn't even wake up?

I'm in a total mess about this. Some success stories and experiences would be greatly appreciated.

MsBrown Mon 08-Apr-13 15:03:32

Apparently death after a tonsillectomy occurs in every one in 40,000 cases. That seems rather a lot to me. Argh. sad

MsBrown Mon 08-Apr-13 15:09:15

What am i doing to myself? Just read elsewhere that the death incidence is actually 1 in 15,000. The risk of heamorrage terrifies me.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 08-Apr-13 18:01:45

There will be lots of different stats depending on what patients they and have not decided to include. Yes it is possible to bleed after tonsillectomy, but it usually happens in the first couple hours after surgery whilst you are still in hospital being monitored and then she old be whisked back to theatre to control the bleeding. There is a risk with everything, however, it sounds me that now the risk of not doing the procedure is much greater than the risk of doing the procedure.
I lived through tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy at the age of 11. I know numerous others who had tonsillectomy both as adults and children.
It is very hard not to worry I know, but the risks really are very minimal.

PJM18 Mon 08-Apr-13 18:04:20

Hi. None of my children have had surgery but I totally understand how you are feeling. I get like this if I think too much and start catastrophising everything. It can really take over and make you really doubt your instincts, which is to get the surgery done and improve things. I had a quick look on Wikipedia and the lifetime chance of being struck by lightning is 1 in 10,000 but I have never known anyone tis has happened to and we don't go around worrying about it.
Maybe if you look at risks of other things it will put it into perspective for you. I'm sure everything will be fine, the sooner it's done the better.

Whereisegg Wed 10-Apr-13 15:53:33

My ds had tonsil & adenoidectomy at 5 yrs (late last year) and I too, googled it.
Worst decision ever!!
I can only tell you of our experience.
He was first on the list so was back on the ward by 11am.
He then slept until about 4pm apart from some gentle stirring.
I'm sure you're aware they will want your lo to eat before they will discharge you. As our lo slept so long, all anaesthetic was out of his system so after a mouthful he then refused food.
They gave him calpol, which on an empty stomach made him throw up. Now associating meds with being sick he wouldn't take any more nor eat what the nurses brought him (totally dried up sandwich) but happily ate a huge yoghurt, some peach and some grapes.
He was sobbing to go home so I hid the sandwich so they would discharge us.
I slept on his floor, he woke once, medicated & straight back off.
The next day he ate grapes, half a bacon sandwich and some curry!!
Not things I would have preferred but we had told him that he could eat whatever he wanted for 1 week as long as 1 piece of fruit per day.
Got easier every day!
All his probs before op were noticeably eased even from day 1!
Good luck mama!

MistyB Wed 10-Apr-13 22:06:09

The surgery risks are dependent on the hospital and the surgeon as well as the operation. (recent toddler surgery graduate where surgeon said I have never had a case of 'insert complication' and I have performed x number of operations per month for the past y years)

It is hard not to worry but find a way to distract yourself during the op and find out as much as you can about what will happen beforehand, will you be able to stay with her until she is under, what can you expect to see during this stage, will you be able to stay with while she wakes up, what can you expect during this stage (heart rate going up and down, me panicking!!)

MiniTheMinx Wed 10-Apr-13 22:17:44

As a child I had recurrent tonsillitis and ear infections. The pain from the ear infections was the worst pain I have ever experienced, worse than child birth IME. I had my tonsils and adenoids out at five. The one thing I remember from my experience in hospital was the fun I had playing with the other children on the childrens ward, receiving a huge teddy, almost bigger than me and the horrid food. I think the stay was probably longer 35 years ago and I was sad leaving the other children. It was all a big adventure.

I am of course very glad I don't have ear infections now and I am very grateful that my parents ensured I had the treatment.

Be brave OP, the risks are very small and your daughter will never have to suffer that terrible ear ache again smile and make sure you buy a big teddy or some other lovely treat for your daughter !

Good Luck. Wishing you both all the best.

Nyx Wed 10-Apr-13 22:18:48

My dd had her tonsils and adenoids out before she started school, she was 5. She had absolutely no complications whatsoever - everything went very, very smoothly, we made sure her painkillers were being taken regularly at the proper intervals so that she didn't have a lot of pain to deal with. We were matter of fact about her having to eat as normally as possible - albeit with soft foods - and she did really well. We were very happy with the speed of her recovery, it really went without a hitch.

Please try not to panic! I am sure all will be well. You know yourself that googling is a mistake!

Recovering from tonsillectomy as a child is roughly a million times easier than as an adult (voice of experience here, myself and my sister). It is so good for your DD that she is having her op so young, it has been such a good thing for my DD. She is sleeping so much better and is therefore less tired (and grumpy!) through the day, is able to concentrate better, etc. I think she is less fussy with her food. Her tonsils were massive.

MaybeAMayBaby Wed 10-Apr-13 22:22:43

MsBrown, I know exactly how you feel. I was told a couple of days ago that my 3yr old DD will need grommets. I have a second DD in the neonatal unit at the moment, and it was the first time since her birth that I cried my eyes out. Maybe it was just the final straw, but the thought of the surgery had me petrified.
I too found a stat on google. 1 in 30,000 children die as a result of a general anesthetic. But, on the same site, 1 in 6500 die getting into a car. I found this really helpful, after all, I am willing to take that risk multiple times a day and think nothing of it. Also the fact that yesterday she was screaming in pain from yet another ear infection and now asks me to repeat everything I say as she can't hear, has made the decision a lot easier to accept.

invicta Wed 10-Apr-13 22:23:28

You're reaction is because you are a mum, and we all want to protect our children. It's perfectly normal. I had surgery last year, i feared the worst, and live to tell the tale.

Hassled Wed 10-Apr-13 22:27:29

I had it done as a kid - probably around 8? All I can remember now is that I got to eat an awful lot of jelly and ice-cream afterwards, so don't worry that she will be traumatised or anything subsequently.

And I have had that "having a DC having a general anaesthetic" moment, 3 times - it's awful, really awful. There's no getting around the fact it's awful. All you can do is remind yourself that that surgeons know exactly what they're doing and that for them this is as standard as loading the washing machine or whatever. She will be fine smile.

Floralnomad Wed 10-Apr-13 22:34:30

It's very natural to be worried but I think if those figures were broken down you would find that most people who have post OP problems with tonsillectomy s are older ( late teen/ adult) .

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