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adenoids & tonsils surgery question

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#1 jill1972

Posted 23 July 2012 - 02:50 PM

Hi there, my son needs to have his adenoids out as soon as possible.  He's suffering terribly with breathing, night terrors, snoring etc.  That's fine....I'm almost looking forward to it for the poor little guy.  The dilemma is whether or not to take his tonsils out at the same time.  While they're not bothering him, the specialist said there is a chance that he may still have snoring issues after the adenoid surgery, so may as well do both at the same time.  I can of course elect to just do the adenoids as he suspects they are the problem not the tonsils.  So really taking the tonsils out is a 'just in case' measure.

What have you or would you do?  I'm really torn because of the recovery time, inconvenience of an overnight hospital stay etc.  I like that he's out the same day with just the adenoids, pain isn't too bad.

I really don't know what to do.


#2 Mumajugs

Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:29 PM

Hi, our story might sound harsh, but it has a good outcome, I promise! original.gif Our 2 yr old son just had his tonsils & adenoids out just over a fortnight ago after suffering sleep apnea, snoring & recurrent tonsillitis. We were initially going to go ahead with the removal of the adenoids & insertion of grommets, but the tonsillitis was proving a bigger problem as he had a febrile convulsion with the last episode. The ENT specialist said that he probably wouldn't need grommets inserted if he had the adenoids out anyway as that would help with ear drainage. The specialist also said that he would normally advise parents of children this age to wait a year or so, but because our son had the complication of the convulsion, to go ahead sooner rather than later to minimise the risk of him possibly having another convulsion.  We were told that having the tonsils out with the adenoids would be a more detailed (& painful) operation & a more lengthy recovery period (2 weeks) for him, but that if we were going to one, we might as well do the other. We asked what the risks were with the operation and healing process & we were advised that he could have a reaction to the general anesethia & also post operative bleeding, although this was rare. Based upon our son's symptoms, we decided to go ahead with the tonsillectomy & removal of adenoids and thought it would be better for his long term health over the short term pain.    
We stayed overnight in hospital after having his op at 11am & remarkably he was up eating sandwiches, soup, spag bol & ice cream the night of his op. However we soon found out that the 2 days post op are the kindest and that the most painful days are days 3-5 & 7-10 when the scabs on the tonsil site are healing, then falling off. By day 3 he also had bad breath that smelt like a dog that had died in the desert. The one most important thing I had read on numerous blogs & had been told by the nurses on the ward was to keep administering pain relief religiously as per manufacturers instructions (we went with Painstop as it lasts longer & the addition of codeine seemed to do the trick rather than just straight paracetamol. Highly recommend this!). My husband was concerned by day 5 that he was having too much, so he decided to "stretch" out the doses and it was the biggest mistake we could have made. Our poor son was screaming & dry wrenching in pain that night & was inconsolable for over 30 mins. We also had to force the pain relief into him, which I think did more harm than good as he was screaming so much. The next day after his afternoon nap, I heard him crying, so went to get him up & he rolled over with blood pouring out his mouth. I rushed him to the nearest children's hospital, where they had to put him on a drip & protocol is to admit them for a minimum of 24 hrs from when the bleeding started. My husband had to stay overnight as we also have a 3 mth old daughter, who I'm still breast feeding. The bleeding had stopped & our son was eating & drinking normally, so we were discharged late the next day. Unfortunately though, the following day he woke up from his nap bleeding again, but this time a lot worse. He also had clots coming out his mouth & nose. As I was driving him back to emergency, he vomited up about 5 large clots (each the size of a medium size pice of steak) & I almost had a car accident trying to make sure he could still breath. He passed out on arrival to the ER due to the loss of blood & was hooked up to heart monitors, oxygen & drip with fluids, antibiotics & paracetamol administered intravenously so as not to disturb his throat. As you can imagine, it was one of the most stressful times of our lives for my husband and I as this is the last thing we wanted to happen and to see our son in such distress was heartbreaking. This time we were admitted for 48hours to make sure the bleeding had finally stopped, which thank god, it had. Apparently, what can happen is the clot that forms over the blood vessel comes away too soon & the blood vessel hasn't had time to seal properly, so bleeding occurs. The Drs don't know why this is, but apparently studies are being done on it. There's a 3-5% chance of this happening, so the chances are pretty low. Our son was just one of the unlucky ones unfortunately.  sad.gif
I know this sounds all doom & gloom and is probably sounding like an advertisement of why not to do it & has probably put you off doing anything at all, but I can now say that, whilst we endured a week from hell, it was probably the BEST thing we could have done for him as he is now eating & sleeping like a champion! He used to wake up up to 6 times a night & would more often than not, wake up at least twice a night crying and now we don't hear a peep from him & have had to wake him up on several occasions since the operation. Now if I could only get my 3 mth old to do the same!  wink.gif
I can only speak from our experience, but if I were you, I would do both the adenoids and tonsils in one go. I know the recovery time is longer initially, but the older they get, the longer the recovery time is. Apparently having your tonsils out as an adult is even more painful and has over a month's recovery time, instead of 10-14 days for a kid.
Hope all goes well with whatever you decide!

Edited by Mumajugs, 24 July 2012 - 05:35 PM.

#3 Ange

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:13 PM

DS at the age of 5 needed to get his adenoids taken out (they were huge) and a set of grommets inserted due to glue ear. At the time his tonsils were fine, hardly noticeable. All came out fine, day procedure, no issues.

A year later the grommets fell out (which normally happens) and he ended up with an ear infection just as they were coming out, so ended up with another case of glue ear, which resulted in another loss of hearing.

Fast forward to Jan this year (just turned 7), he was seeing the ENT to get another set of grommets and on inspection his tonsils were much bigger than they were 18m earlier, and he had started to snore again!!

We opted for a tonsillectomy and grommets insetion as by this stage he had already had 2 anaesthetics.

All went well with the operation, all textbook. Surprisingly, his adeniods had grown back!!! So they re-shaved those at the same time.

If it were my decision, I would get it all done at the same time. The younger they are, the better they cope with a tonsillectomy.

(DD has also had adeniods and tonsils out at the age of 3, her tonsils were so big that they touched all the time. They were never infected, just big which affected her sleep/eating).

#4 Rusty10

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:20 PM

My 3 year old son had his tonsils and adenoids out 3 weeks ago. His issue was his tonsils, they were too big so they were affecting his breathing/sleeping/eating, but they took the adenoids as well. I know my friends daughter had her adenoids removed and then 10 months later she had to go back again for the tonsils. Unfortunately you can't know for sure if the tonsils are causing any issues until the adenoids are gone, but I think if it was me I would do both, particularly if the specialist suggested it.

You may have heard all sorts of horror stories about the recovery as I did and I had fully prepared myself for the worst but my son was fine. For the first 4 days we routinely gave him kids Panadol, then my husband thought he didn't need it because he wasn't complaining about the pain. The one time I tried to stretch out the time between doses he was crying hysterically, wouldn't eat or drink, which meant I couldn't hide the Panadol like I had been so we had to pin him down to get it in to him. About 20 mins later he was happily eating and drinking again. He did have the second wave of pain at day 7 and 8 and we had to use Painstop for that because without it he was crying all the time and wouldn't eat or drink. I think getting them to constantly drink water is a must, even if it is only little sips, especially if they wake during the night and as soon as they wake in the morning. Our surgeon said this keeps the scabs moist which prevents them from falling off to soon, which in turn prevents serious bleeding. The drier the throat is the more pain they will be in but it can be hard to convince a young child to do something they don't want to do sometimes.

Mamajugs, sorry you had such a traumatic experience, it's good to hear everything turned out for the best for you and your son.

#5 babycat

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:27 PM

I had my adenoids removed when I was about four and they left my tonsils.  Fast forward to age 28 and recurrent bouts of bad tonsillitis they decided I needed to have my tonsils out.  

Best thing I ever did, but I wish I'd had them done when I was young as it is so much more painful as an adult compared to as a child.  My recovery took well over a couple of weeks. And even then I was still struggling to eat normal food.

Given the option with either of my DS's, I'd choose the just in case option.

Edited by babycat, 24 July 2012 - 05:30 PM.

#6 Gossipgirl

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:28 PM

My two yr old just had adnoids out and grommits in its 6 days post surgery his breath is horrible he is still not sleeping and is on pain stop saw the Dr yesterday and he said he is healing well hoping tonightis better

#7 Mumajugs

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:52 AM

QUOTE (Rusty10 @ 24/07/2012, 05:20 PM)

Mamajugs, sorry you had such a traumatic experience, it's good to hear everything turned out for the best for you and your son.

Thanks Rusty10! It was definitely an unexpected bump in the road, but despite the chaos and trauma, we would still do the op again seeing how well our son's doing now.

#8 mypigeonpair01

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:09 AM

Personally, I'd do both. DD had T's & A's done at age 3yrs 10m and it was the best thing we could have done for her. Our ENT was amazing. I thought I'd have to go into battle and beg for him to remove them but he just looked down her throat (I'd bribed her with the promise of a lollipop afterwards), said "they're huge" and told me to fill out the admission forms! I had her on a course of ABs for the week prior to surgery because I knew that if she had an acute case of tonsillitis then we would have to postpone. ENT put her on ABs post-op anyway which I was very happy about (far better than my experience at age 23 with a terrible ENT who basically ignored my acute infection, didn't even come to see me post op but rang me the next morning & told me to go home and return for consult 3 weeks later. Had massive post op infection & refused to attend consult).
DD is now a much healthier kid now aged 6y 7m. Hardly ever has cold or any illness. Painstop was hard to get into her post op but bribery worked well for us (little toy here, new t-shirt there).
Good luck!

#9 Mumajugs

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:14 AM

QUOTE (Rusty10 @ 24/07/2012, 05:20 PM)

Mamajugs, sorry you had such a traumatic experience, it's good to hear everything turned out for the best for you and your son.

Thanks Rusty10! It was definitely an unexpected bump in the road, but despite the chaos and trauma, we would still do the op again seeing how well our son's doing now.

#10 Maple Leaf

Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:44 PM

DD2 (who is 3 next month) is 10 days post op.. she had tonsils and adenoids removed and grommets inserted.

I was very leery about the tonsils, but whoa, I am soooo glad I got them done.. the ENT said I could go either way but there was a good chance if I didn't do the tonsils now, I would be back with her next year with the same issues (sleep apneas and breathing problems, she didn't have tonsillitis but recurrent ear infections).

When her tonsils were taken out he said they were massive adult sized tonsils! It hasn't been the easiest recovery I will admit that, but I can see the benefit of it now as she now sleeps without heavy breathing or snoring and her speech is so much better.

Based on my experience, I would get it all done at once.

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