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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Would you let your child have a tonsillectomy in a borderline case?

(18 Posts)
Nerris Fri 16-Dec-16 14:50:57


I really need some advice. My dd 4 was referred for a tonsillectomy and possible adenoids removal along with ear microsuction for excessive earwax. She was meant to have the op this week but it was cancelled due to her being ill.

The registrar we saw has put doubts in our minds.
The reason i originally got the referral was due to poor sleep, large tonsils, breathing through her mouth a lot, nasally voice, repeated infections (not necessarily tonsillitis) etc.

She had a sleep study done which showed no apnoea but some disturbance when she changed positions.

However literally a couple of weeks after our last ENT appointment where the specialist said she was a borderline case, her sleep improved. No more snoring, no more finding her in a sweaty mess struggling to catch her breath etc.

I decided to wait and see and now fast forward a few months to her op. Whilst meeting with the registrar on his round he said "oh her tonsils arent that big, i dont think her adenoids are causing the breathing problem. Taking them out won't necessarily solve her sleeping issues..but we'll take them out if she's getting recurring tonsillitis".

Which has totally confused us.
She still sleeps with her mouth open, grinds her teeth, doesnt sleep any where near as quietly as her sister, but doesn't really snore either. She wakes up quite tired but She is eating and growing well and seems to be learning well at school.
She does suffer terribly with colds, they drag on and on and she is highly susceptible to any viruses doing the rounds and she seems to get them so much worse than ither children or her sibling.

My husband and i genuinely don't know what to do for the best. We are currently waiting for a new appointment for the op.

Any thoughts/advice would be great thank you.

YoHoHoandabottleofTequila Fri 16-Dec-16 20:33:30

One of my DC had their tonsils out recently and it really was the best thing we did. His breathing did improve typically after we saw the consultant and we were a bit unsure about what to do. But it's only now he's had them out we realise how much better he sleeps and how much his breathing has improved. He didn't breathe through his nose at all before and when he was ill he really struggled to sleep. Waking up tired is a real indication of disturbed sleep.

A lot of tonsillectomy operations are done as day cases now and if not it's only an overnight stay, although you do need two weeks off school afterwards.

Kaffiene Fri 16-Dec-16 20:39:41

100% yes. I was a borderline case as a child and my parents decided against it.

I was plagued with tonsillitis. Every cools
I got dragged on and I usually ended up with antibiotics. My sleep problems got worse as I got older. Eventually had them out age 30. I ended up being signed off from work for 2 months. A friend's DD had them out the same day and was back to herself within a week.

Much easier to have them and adenoids if needed as a child than a run down adult.

Randytortoise Fri 16-Dec-16 20:40:29

Yes I would as if her problems carry on into adulthood it is much more difficult to have them removed and recovery can be a lot longer and more painful.

rosesandcashmere Fri 16-Dec-16 20:42:31

Children's are much easier to remove than adults, I had mine removed at 29 and was signed off 3 weeks. I do still get throat infections though.

VilootShesCute Fri 16-Dec-16 20:46:01

I read somewhere that it was important to have your tonsils for building immunity until ages 7 or 9 or around then. I had awful awful tonsilitis for many years as a child and adolescent but never had mine out.

FeralBeryl Sat 17-Dec-16 01:05:58

Yes I would allow the surgery.
I was plagued with hideous tonsillitis for years with similar arguments between physicians. I missed a lot of school, I had a lot of antibiotics, my sleep was disturbed.
The operation is rotten, children recover far quicker from it than adults though. Get it out the way for him flowers

Nerris Sat 17-Dec-16 09:17:36

Thanks all, that's very interesting and has really helped.

I suppose our dilemma is that we're not sure how many incidences of actual tonsillitis she's had.
All we know is if she gets a throat infection she can't really eat, vomits if she has a coughing fit and barely sleeps.

Dh and i obviously don't want to put her through pain but i worry about the long term. It's taken a year to get the go-ahead for the op but I feel it is more me pushing for it so i just want to be confident in my decision.

Nerris Sun 18-Dec-16 18:38:04


BarbarianMum Tue 20-Dec-16 13:45:27

He'll, yes! Recurrent tonsilitis is miserable and like as not she'll end up having them out later in life after recurrentbouts of illness anyway.

ArcheryAnnie Tue 20-Dec-16 13:53:46

As a rule it's better not to have any surgery unless it's absolutely necessary - but not that long ago it was practically routine to have kids' tonsils whipped out at the slightest provocation. Mine went, I can't even remember when, and I haven't missed them in the slightest!

Also no risk of smelly tonsil stones when you are older. (Though if you are a sporn fan, that's a bug not a feature.)

I hope she gets better and stays better very soon, whatever you decide.

Poocatcherchampion Wed 21-Dec-16 19:56:02

From what you havhave said I would do it.

She may be better than she was but it still doesn't sound great.

What are your reasons for not doing it? Fear of GA? (I'm always scared of that but so far it is worth it.)

mizu Fri 23-Dec-16 20:10:23

DD1 had hers out at 4. The day before her 5th birthday. She'd had so much tonsillitis though and it was the best decision ever. She has thrived since.

I had mine out at 19 and had been plagued by tonsillitis through school, again, I was a different person afterwards.

Camelsinthegobi Sat 24-Dec-16 05:21:28

I can see what you're worried about since you're not sure if she's had many bouts of tonsillitis, but if her throat closes up like that with a cold (sounds like viral tonsillitis to me) and she's often waking up tired then I would have them out.

TheStorySoFar Sat 24-Dec-16 15:23:15

My 4yo DD had hers out in Sept. I was reluctant as she'd only had one bout of tonsillitis since Jan (before that 9 in 10mths!!). We were told it was unlikely they'd take her adenoids out as they don't like to...
They took both tonsils & adenoids & her nightly night terrors have stopped. Not a SINGLE one since surgery. And she honestly bounced straight back! Brilliant. Our house has been full of tonsillitis colds & bronchitis since Sept & she hasn't caught a thing grin

Nerris Sun 01-Jan-17 09:57:13

Thank you all for your advice i really appreciate it. Dh is still not 100% about proceeding, but in my gut i feel a lot of her sleep issues might be improved by the op.

moobeana Sun 01-Jan-17 17:10:34

Our daughter had her adenoids out last year (4 years of constant runny nose) she also snored on and off. Lots of colds and sounded nasal at times.

We had them out and then realised how much her sleep had been disturbed, she was so much brighter and happier than before (we hadn't realised the quality of sleep had been affected as she was just a normal child as far as we knew).

She was back to normal the next day, I'm so glad I had it done before she started school.

Do it!

ramnikmathur Mon 02-Jan-17 02:49:19

All above correct. Just get them out!

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