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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 get tonsils removed?

(42 Posts)
Butterflies27 Mon 04-Dec-17 17:45:00

My dd aged 3.8 years has suffered with a chronic cough since 11 months. Her tonsils are huge and when ever we are getting her chest checked for infection every dr has said they are impressive.

We have been to see ENT when trying to get answers for the cough. They have said they are big, but see how she goes and we can go back if we need to. She is a very restless sleeper but had a 48 hr sleep study done and sleep apnea was ruled out.

Last year my dd was in hospital for observations with bacterial bronchitis and viral tonsillitis, as wasn’t improving with antibiotics. A junior dr pulled my husband aside and said you need to get those tonsils out!

My dd doesn’t get over a cold like other children and it normally turns in to a secondary infection. My dd has just got over a ear infection which the nurse suggested was prob caused by the enlarged tonsils not allowing the ears to drain. She also said removing tonsils wouldn’t be a bad shout.

This year she has had 5 lots of antibiotics 3 of them 14 days long, last year and the previous year 5+ each year, given her history would you get tonsils removed in the hope they would help?

MaisyPops Mon 04-Dec-17 17:46:49

You might want to try but they tend to be reluctant to.

As a child I had 3-4 episodes of it a year and it still wasn't deemed enough to have them out.

Now as an adult I get it 1-2 times a year but much less severe. Given how useful tonsils are for collectinf crap I'm actually quite glad i've still got them.

MarkleAndSpencer Mon 04-Dec-17 17:47:13

DS did have sleep apnea and a host of other issues. His tonsils came out last year and we have never looked back. If you can get it done on the NHS (or even find someone local who will do it privately - not always easy with small kids) then I'd have it done like a shot. It's literally changed all our lives for the better.

Loveactuallyoctopus Mon 04-Dec-17 17:48:12

Sounds like my ds. His tonsils are "massive" according to every doctor we've ever seen but they wont consider taking them out until he's had tonsilitus 8 times in 1 year.

Tonsilitus isn't the problem though we have the same issues as you, coughing, normal common cold turning into a 3 week long infection. He suffers nobody gets any sleep etc but no doctor will refer him. He is only 18 months and i hope and pray he grows into these bloody tonsils but i am told it's unlikely.

zzzzz Mon 04-Dec-17 17:49:28

What does the Dr say?

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 04-Dec-17 18:00:24

My sons tonsils were so big they asked permission to donate them to donate them to Glaxo Smith Kline
Just after he had been put under, they did his adenoids as well as they said they would be the same size.

He couldn't breath when asleep and snored like a jet, after having them out his actual speech changed
A little, best choice I had ever made for him. He had constant infections croup you name it, all cleared up

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Mon 04-Dec-17 18:03:18

I had tonsillitis every 3 weeks without fail as a child and had my tonsils removed at 5. It hasn't stopped me developing sleep apnoea. However, I went from really poor school attendance due to sickness to almost perfect attendance. It may be worth considering how school attendance could be affected in future.

notangelinajolie Mon 04-Dec-17 19:21:59

If you feel that she is suffering then I'd say yes. But I know it's not something that they like to do these days. Our GP really had to fight our corner when our DD needed to have them removed.

It all started when she was 18 months old -
we called out an emergency doctor to her one night and after he'd told us she was fine and it was nothing but normal childhood sickness she promptly projectile vomited green bile all over him. He changed his mind thank goodness and sent us straight off to hospital where she was diagnosed with septic tonsils and put on iv antibiotics. Over the next few years I dont' think a month passed by without us having to go to the doctor - it just kept coming back. She missed so much school - I was forever having to go to school to pick her up because she had a temperature or had been sick or had tummy ache.

She was in year 1 when she had them removed. They had to put her on long term antibiotics while she was waiting for surgery as they couldn't operate if they were infected. Having the surgery changed everything and she never looked back. Looking at old photos of her when she was little, I can see how pale and underweight she looked and it makes me really sad that she had to suffer for so long. Having her tonsils removed changed everything - it really felt like a miracle had happened.

Butterflies27 Tue 05-Dec-17 11:36:59

Thank you so much for all your comments.

The consultant said last year he wouldn’t rule out the tonsils but advised us not to go private as they would do it just because we were paying and not necessarily because she needed it. We haven’t seen that consultant this year so he doesn’t know how she’s been doing since that statement.

She’s very pale and tiny for her age on the 10th percentile although 50th at birth, this last cold and ear infection has knocked her particularly hard and she has barely eaten in a month.

She coughs, gags, chews in her sleep, almost every night. We would go private if we did as she wouldn’t qualify under the nhs.

Nowthereistwo Tue 05-Dec-17 11:43:54

My dd was 2 when referred to ent and took a year to operate. Her tonsils (and adanoids) affected her sleep, eating, hearing (glue ear due to blocked tubes) and delayed her speech.

Post op was hard for 10 days but the changes in her are amazing. It's now 18months post op and she's amazing, quickly caught up with her peers and hardly ever ill.

paap1975 Tue 05-Dec-17 11:51:47

As a kid I had tonsillitis and ear infections on a regular basis. This continued into adulthood, culminating in me ending up in A&E one night after the 4th set of antibiotics in 3 months. The consultant there took a look at my tonsils and told me they had become porous and were causing their own infections. So, at the ripe old age of 25, I had them taken out. I have never looked back. Not a single ear infection in the 20 years since. Heaven knows why no-one wanted to remove them earlier. It was life-changing!

Butterflies27 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:13:13

Oh wow, sounds like tonsils cause lots of problems.

Nowthereistwo can I ask how old was your dd when she had the op?

Would anyone have any hesitations going private as opposed to nhs (not that we would get on the list?)

Woody096 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:19:42

I suffered terribly with tonsillitis. Aged 25 I had a particularly bad bout which then turned into sepsis. 2 weeks in hospital, 6 weeks off work. Had them out 3 months later. The difference was incredible. Previously I would get a bit run down & end up with raised glands & tonsilitis. Since i’ve Had them out I have been ill about 3 times in the last 7 years!

Nowthereistwo Tue 05-Dec-17 17:19:59

Dd was 3 years 2months when she had the op.

The ent referral also included hearing tests (which showed glue ear) and sleep study (Which she also passed). Ironically i dont think she ever had tonsillitis.

HateHomework Tue 05-Dec-17 18:54:46

My dad removed them at 4 cause the left side was totally blocked- no infections at all for the last year

Good luck x

Floralnomad Tue 05-Dec-17 19:08:54

Myself and both of my sisters all had recurrent problems with tonsils and all had them out under 6 yo back in the day . My eldest had huge tonsils and had problems aged 11/12 with bacterial infections and then was fine until he was 16 when he got recurrent infections and was literally having a week off between courses of ABs , he had his out at 17 , had a post op bleed and ended up being readmitted for IV ABs . If you can get someone to take out her tonsils whilst she is little I’d do it .

Butterflies27 Tue 05-Dec-17 20:52:58

Thank you so much for all you comments and success stories this has helped so much. We have booked a private consultation for Monday with someone who will do tonsillectomy on children. Hoping we can one day have a success story with her too.

Guiltypleasures001 Tue 05-Dec-17 21:33:47

Hi op

Forgot to add blocked ears heating slightly impaired with, I would have nose and throat done as they say the adenoids will be the same size

Butterflies27 Tue 05-Dec-17 21:38:59

Thank you guiltypleasures001 we were just wondering to do both to get it out the way will mention to the consultant Monday.

Guiltypleasures001 Wed 06-Dec-17 00:19:30

I had adenoids done at age 9 ide had years of tonsillitis but they wouldn't take them out, just adenoids for some reason, was a waste of time

I had 18mths of glandular fever from age 16, tonsils out at 18 and op seriously it's so much worse when your older for some reason so they say.

Get them out 😩💐

Butterflies27 Mon 11-Dec-17 17:44:33

Saw consultant today he was very nice could understand it was an unusual situation but did think maybe the tonsils were an issue. He was concerned that at birth she was 50th percentile and is now on the 15th. He is going to recheck all her documents on the NHS just to make sure nothing was over looked and then it’s up to us if we go ahead.

He checked her ears and the ear infection is still there -we did think it was coming back as the cough was back. She’s now on 2 weeks of antibiotics. That be 3 weeks of antibiotics in a month.

MarkleAndSpencer Mon 11-Dec-17 19:19:02

DS was 90-something centile at birth and dropped to 0.2nd by 20 months. It's ridiculous that these small bits of flesh in the back of their throats can affect so much! He's back to about 50th now which I think is where he's meant to be. Hopefully it will help you too.

Twinkie1 Mon 11-Dec-17 19:26:54

God I would in a heart beat. My DD is 4 now and had hers out do to their size last July, the private ENT guy even opened a list before he went on holiday to do hers as he said they were very very impressive for a child her age and he could see why she had sleep apnea and didn’t eat a proper diet without choking and having to chug gallons of water with each meal.

Our lives have turned around, she’s very fussy with food still but eats it without having choking and having to drink so much and she is silent when she sleeps (and at last she sleeps through), you could have mistaken this little blonde angel for a fat old drunken man the noise she used to make at night.

Oh and she has had no antibiotics for the first 6month duration in her life,

Butterflies27 Mon 11-Dec-17 22:13:55

Thank you so much Markleandspencer, that is good to hear. How old was your ds when he had the op?

Oh wow twinkie1, I know how much of an achievement that is. With regard to going private how was it? Did your dd have her own room? Was she in over night? I’m so hoping this will improve hers and our quality of life. My dd is living off cheese and Jaffa cakes as she says everything else taste yucky!

Bluntness100 Mon 11-Dec-17 22:28:12

Mine had hers out, I think she was about twelve. She had chronic tonisilitis since she was tiny, it got to the stage she was literally on different antibiotics every two weeks and suffering at school because she was exhausted and losing weight. . I recall when she was about six, walking her through about five inches of snow to a doctors surgery that wasn’t ours but was closer because the roads were blocked and she couldn’t breathe properly and the doctor had to come out and deal with her immediately. It was really scary.

The day they went to take them out they couldn’t do it, as they were too inflamed and infected and she had to be put on antibiotics for a week then come back.

The surgeon who took them out said he’d actually not seen any so big, as soon as he touched one of them exploded, they sent the tissue for bioposy but it was fine. She was terribly sick after and had to be kept in over night because she had swallowed the shit that came out when it burst. It was a really unpleasant experience.

My opinion is wait till she’s a little older if you can, but get it done. They don’t get better in my experience and the nhs makes you wait far too long. My daughter should never have got to the stage she was at and I trusted my gp and didn’t think to go private, which was my bad.

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