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Tonsils removed - when?

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#1 Bondia

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:15 PM

Looking for advice on how likely it is that my almost-8 year old will be advised to have her tonsils removed...

The reason I'm asking is that we live in a rural area, and I can't get any specialist appointments before next June, unless I'm willing to travel - but I'm not wanting to travel if it's just going to be to hear someone say "Nup, just put up with the tonsilitis, she might grow out of it"....

Does anyone know whether it's likely they'd recommend them being removed? She has been getting tonsillitis more and more frequently the past 2 or 3 years, and this year has had it 4 times. She just got over it a month ago and now has it again. She doesn't have any other issues such as snoring, ear issues, etc.

Any insights greatly appreciated before I go down the route of trying to find an appointment 4 hours from home.

Edited by Bondia, 12 November 2012 - 01:15 PM.

#2 missjoads1234

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

The latest i heard on doctors willing to take tonsils out was an absurb number like 13, as in the child has to have tonsillitis that many times in a year to qualify.
My DS1 has extreamly large tonsils according to numerous doctors. He has had chronic coughs and even trouble swallowing and even after seeing a specialist at RCH, they wont take them out. He has had tonsillitis many a time this year as well but they wont touch them.
I dont know what state your in but this was the advice here in VIC. Good luck for your daughter

#3 Feral Becky

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:26 PM

Take this with a grain of salt since it is years since I worked in ENT but one specialist said it was the severity of the attacks, not the number, like one really bad tonsillitis a year may warrant removal but 12 in a year that were controlled with antibiotics would not.

Best to check with the specialist though.

#4 Bondia

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:30 PM

Oh that's interesting, thanks!

#5 T2Mum

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

My ENT took DD2s tonsils out in April this year. She was 17mths old. She had pretty much recurrent tonsillitis.

#6 shelly1

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:39 PM

I think it totally depends on the specialist. My SIL takes her sons to a specialist ENT who is well known to be very conservative surgery wise - her son is a chronic snorer and has very enlarged tonsils yet doenst get tonsilitis so he wouldnt remove them.

I took my daughter to another ENT and he wanted to whip everything out (adenoids, tonsils and grommets) without barely examining her. She doesnt snore nor suffer with tonsilitis but did have glue ear which he said is caused by the tonsils.

I think you have a better chance of having them removed by finding a private surgeon than going thru the public system

#7 Bondia

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

Thanks Shelly1, private isn't an option unfortunately.

#8 mayahlb

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:42 PM

As a PP said it depends on the surgeon and the severity of the cases. Some surgeons are more likely to say to take them out then others. Here is it the number and the severity of the amount of times you get tonsillitis. DS2 just had his removed on Thursday but it was for a totally different reason (he's never had tonsillitis but between them and his adenoids he had sleep apnea and obstructive sleep disorder as well as recurrent chest infections and upper respiratory infections).

Also it might help to ring and see if you can't get on the cancellation list for the list or see if your GP can bump you up the list. I live remote and rural and we only have ENT clinics every 4 months but my GP managed to get us in early (but only because we basically ended up in hospital because of a severe infections that antibiotics had not previously cleared up and he had already been on them 4 times in 4 months.)

Edited by mayahlb, 12 November 2012 - 01:44 PM.

#9 sqawk

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:49 PM

Personally Id take the appt in June next year now and then see what happens.  Perhaps chat with your GP and see what they say.  If the tonsilitis is really not a problem closer to the appt cancel it.  If it gets worse, once your on the waiting list you might be able to get an earlier appt thru cancellation etc.  The best way to get rid of tonsilitis is too make sure you take 10-14days of antibiotics (ie 2-3 courses), dont stop too early!!

#10 fionah

Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:50 PM

Ray had his tonsils out at 6yo. He had to have recurrent anaesthetics for cancer treatment as a toddler and when monitoring him post anaesthetic, there was some questioing over whether or not his huge tonsils were causing some apnea. When he was 5 and at school we noticed he was always really tired and still wetting the bed frequently. He wriggled around in bed lots too. I can't recall him ever having tonsilitis. He had an occasional ear infection, but nothing remarkable. The GP asked me to take him to see a sleep specialist. The SS asked us to book him in for a sleep study. We had this done & found out he had sleep apnea and also restless leg syndrome. We then went to see an ENT & he recommended having the tonsils and adenoids out. The sleep specialist put him on melatonin to help with the RLS after ruling out an iron deficiency.

Ray had tonsils & adenoids out & recovered well. He has no signs of the sleep apnea, doesn't wriggle around in bed & no longer has accidents either.
If it wasn't for the sleep study, we would never have known  about the apnea. I don't regret having his tonsils taken out.

My eldest sister and my hubby both had their tonsils out as toddlers. Their stories are so similar with re-occuring tonsilitis and constantly being on AB's. My sisters GP even had her on steroids as a baby to try and prevent the infection/inflammation. My MIL tells how she had to be very firm and all but demand the ENT took Hubby's tonsils out.
Both my Mum & MIL never regretted their pushiness to have the tonsils removed.
Everyone has had them done through the public system.


#11 missfrizzle

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:05 AM

DS1 had his removed 3 yrs ago at the age of 8. From the ages of 2-5 he had tonsillitis an average of 10x per year. We went through the public system and waited around 2yrs 9months before he was operated on. Ironically while we were on the waiting list his episodes weren't as frequent. We still went ahead with the op as I had suffered the same when I was a child and mine were never removed and I suffered a lot worse as an adult. In the 3 yrs since his op, he has had 1 day off school sick, compared 2 probably the 2-4 weeks he'd had off each term prior to that. Coincidentally, he stopped suffering from asthma around the same time as he had his tonsils and adenoids out.
DS2 is now 5 day post op after having his tonsils and adenoids out. He started getting tonsillitis at around age 3. After having 5 cases of it in 12 months I asked my GP for a refferal. We went and saw the same ENT that operated on DS1 and waited 15 months for the op.
I think it just depends on who you see as to what they will recommend.

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