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Toddler Tonsil/Adnoid Surgery

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this is the correct forum but my ds (2 3/4) will be having this surgery next month. We just met with the surgeon today. I am wondering if anyone else's kiddo has undergone this surgery or any surgery, really, and if you have any advice for me to prepare him for it and to help all of us get through it. The surgery itself is only 20 min. but he will be staying overnight because of his age just for observation. We will be having it at a children's hospital. Today they gave us a coloring book about going to the hospital and we have a little doctor's kit to role play. He is generally very easy going about doctors.

I am not interested in debating the issue of surgery. For him, based on his health history and his enormous tonsils and adnoids, it is the right thing to do. We use a naturopath as our main medical care and have explored all things natural. I am just seeking support and advice from other mamas who have toddlers who have been through surgery and a hospital stay.

Thank you!
post #2 of 28
I am sorry to hear about the surgery and unfortunately I do not have any advice to offer. My niece went through adnoid surgery not long ago. I understand it went fairly easily for them. I bet your son will be distracted with all the smiling faces around him and it probably won't even dawn on him to be scared.

My son has large tonsils, I do too. My ped keeps commenting on them, asking me if he snores. What bad symptoms did your son have to warrant a surgery to remove them? Just curious. Was he sick alot? Or sleep problems? I am not educated on what the problems can be from large tonsils.
post #3 of 28
I've never gone through this as a parent, but I had my adnoids and tonsils removed - adnoids when I was about 6yo, and tonsils when I was about 9 or 10.

I really don't have much advice, but I remember the worst part of the tonsils being removed was throwing up blood that I had swallowed during the surgery. Maybe talk to your doctor about that and see if there is either any way to prevent it, or anything to help with that once the surgery is over.

Good luck. I am making an appointment with our doctor to check out my son's tonsils as we think it might be affecting his speech development, and in the back of my mind I am thinking that having them removed could end up being a possibility, but I sure hope not!

Just read the pp - my tonsils were removed because I had constant and severe tonsillitis. The surgeon said I had the most swollen tonsils he had ever seen. My adnoids were removed because I couldn't breath very well - snoring and mouth breathing. My parents are pretty good about researching alternative medical options, so I trust their decision that surgery was what needed to happen, but then again, 30 years ago there wasn't as much access to alternative medical information as there is now.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your kind responses. Our son's symptoms included: sleep apnea (periods of time when he stops breathing for a few seconds and then snorts loudly), regularly snoring, lots of sinus congestion which in turn gave him fluid in his ears and hearing loss (this is from enlarged adenoids since they blocked the drainage of the congestion), delayed speech (now in speech therapy for articulation issues due to lack of hearing certain sounds), according to the dr. he sleeps a lot for a kiddo his age (13-15 hours/day incl. naps) and this is a result of the sleep apnea and snoring that disrupts his deep sleep so he is tired all the time, AND his growth percentiles for weight and height have been dropping for the past year or more and since kids grow while they're in a deep sleep this is another sign of a sleep disruption. Oh and he is also a constant mouth breather.

The surgeon says that after the surgery he will actually sleep less and grow lots! I am sure it will be a rude awakening to me since I am used to him having 2-3 hour naps every day!
post #5 of 28
I have a little bit of advice, stock up on anything cold, like frozen juice bars. I went through this surgery when I was 5, and I remember my throat hurting for days, the only thing that helped was to suck on something cold.
post #6 of 28
Another thing, my parents gave me a new stuffed bear that day as we walked into the hospital, he was with me when I woke up,that bear was special to me for years afterward, I needed something to focus my attention on.
post #7 of 28
DD had tubes put in last summer, she was supposed to have her adnoids removed at the same time. My dh chose the morning of to start questioning why it needed to be done so the dr decided not to do it now she really needs it done.

She did really well with the surgery, it was hard for me to watch her being put under but I talked to her about it smelling funny and the mask being put over her face. She stayed mostly calm they wanted her to lie down which scared her so the dr said she could sit up. The worst part for me was when she was waking up she was really crying as soon as she was awake enough to recognize me she calmed down.

She too had hearing loss due to the fluid in her ears, our dr told us not to expect a dramatic change in her hearing/speech but for us it was a night and day difference.

Erin
post #8 of 28
Poor baby. This is different, but my son had to have some dental work done in the hospital in October. It was out-patient, so I can't help with the hospital stay. I do know that DS dealt with this much better than I did. It was so hard to see my 2-year old in the hospital, but the staff (and I tend to be paranoid about doctors and nurses) was really great. They work with children all the time...even better at a children's hospital! We talk about it still, but it's definitely more of a story for him. I think it's very cloudy. I did talk to DS about it a lot before going for the procedure. We read books, etc. I just tried to tell him about everything that would happen. My only word of advice is that you stay with him every possible second.
post #9 of 28
My 9 year old had this surgery when he was 3 (same as your son, apnea/hearing loss/speech delay).

Does your hospital offer tours or would they let you visit beforehand? Knowing where he was going, I think helped my little guy.

PPs advice on stocking up on cold things is good (juice bars, frozen yogurts *the tube ones are good for this*, jello, etc.)

Make sure they'll let you in with your son BEFORE he comes out of the anesthesia. That's my only regret, that he came out of it before I was in there and started panicking so bad they had to knock him back out. NOT GOOD.

Also...make sure YOU have support with you that day. Someone with you, a book to read, etc. Those 20 minutes are the LONGEST 20 minutes.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the ideas! My son has a dairy allergy so I will make some homemade juice popsicles, and buy some fruit sorbet and soy yogurt. I want to try jello but I am worried about the dyes. I guess for one day it couldn't hurt, could it? Should I avoid anything citrusy? Would raspberry be an ok flavor or should I stick with things that have less acid? Ooh, I just thought of the smoothies they sell at the juice bars. I'll have to bring one with us to the hospital. Or maybe that will be my field trip out at some point in the day. My dh is taking the day off of work. I scheduled the surgery for a Friday so that he only misses one day of work. One nurse told us that only 1 parent can stay the night. Hah! Just let them try and stop us if we feel the need to both be there. Hopefully ds wil just sleep and sleep that night and the pain will be managed well.

I love the idea of being there when he wakes up! Such a good idea. I will work hard to make that happen. Ds had a 4 day stay in this hospital as an infant so I know how hard I need to advocate. Though it is a fantastic Children's Hospital, some of the staff is not terribly understanding of Attachment Parenting. That is also the place where we have met with the doctors this past week so he is familiar with it and likes their toys!

Now that I know how much he needs this surgery and the it will dramatically improve his life, I wish it was tomorrow!! He has some gross motor delays that I am hoping will improve. I know it will improve articulation with his speech. I am so looking forward to getting it over with and life returning to "normal." Also looking forward to buying a few new toys to surprise him with in the hospital and at home for quiet play.

Thanks again for your great ideas! I will keep checking back for more.
post #11 of 28
Hi Vick,

My dd had that same surgery when she was 5. You've gotten great suggestions about food... jello was the only thing my girl would eat for the first day. Don't be surprised if your son's appetite isn't great, though.

Being there when he wakes up is a WONDERFUL idea. They brought us in as she was waking up, but she was still out of it and she was not herself. She was almost hysterical for a while, then she fell back to sleep and never even remembered it. It scared me and dh a lot.

The other thing that I did not feel prepared for was the amount of pain that my dd was in. Expect your son to be in a lot of pain for several days. I expected my dd to bounce back in a day or two, but it was really more like 8 or 9 days before she began to feel better. This is normal, but I was on the phone to my dr's office because it really worried me. Give him all the pain reliever that they prescribe for as long as it is allowed. They gave my dd narcotics which worried me until I saw how much she was hurting.

The hospital where my dd had her surgery sent us home that day. I think that as awful as being in the hospital is, it really is a better place to be. That way you can ask whatever questions you need to right away.

Good luck to you and your son. I'm sure that once this is behind you, you will not regret it.

Take care,
Kym
post #12 of 28
Hi Vick, My dd had this surgery in August. She was just a few months shy of 4 yrs old then. She had it because she had really really big tonsils, I mean enormous. Anyway she was having some breathing issues with it - such as sleep apnia. We were really reluctant to have the surgery, but we decided to go ahead with it. She did really well with it for the most part, better than expected. She didn't stay overnight in the hospital, but was in recovery for about 4-5 hours. During that time she was really drowsy and in pain. I just laid in the hospital bed with her and held her. I have to say the experience was very unpleasant and I don't have a lot of great advice for you, except to be as close to your little one as possible and provide as much comfort as you can, of coarse. I tried to be really reassuring and confident around my dd so that she could be confident that the doctors and nurses were there to help her feel better. Once we got home we just offered her lots of popsicles and juices to encourage her drink. She was fevery so hydrating her was a big concern and she was very reluctant. However, she didn't take too long to bounce back, about 3 days.
Despite all of our hesitations and reluctance we are glad we went through with it. Dd is doing so much better. Her apnia is completely gone and she is sleeping much better, she's gained a lot of weight because eating is more enjoyable without those massive tonsils and because she is using energy more efficiently (not so much is going towards breathing). Also, she doesn't seem to be too tramatized by it all. In fact she draws her doctor pictures and talks about him lovingly. She likes to talk about everything that happened before the surgery (like the mask), but never talks about anything that happened afterwards (she was pretty zonked).
Best wishes!
post #13 of 28

Btdt

My 3.11 year old son, had his tonsil and adnoids removed 4 months ago.

He has always had severe ear infection problems, used to have speech delay, hearing loss etc etc....we also underwent a sleep study as his tonsils are HUGE and when tonsils are large 9 out of 10 times adnoids are as well...the sleep study showed definite sleep apnea. Which with getting so little oxygenation all this time may explain his paleness, grogginess and overall very bad weight gains.

Anyway wanted you to know that we have been there. I would do it all over again! We had nothing but a positive experience...the hospital setting itself is busy enough that your little one will no doubt be pretty distracted by the surroundings.

You know him best so decide how you think he will react and prepare accordingly. Does he have a lovie? Bring it.
A favorite video, bring it along...most hospitals have vcr's. Anything you know that makes him comfortable.

Stock up on popsicles for the first few days and also have on hand ice creams and yogurts...

Also prepare yourself for this: when young children come out of anesthesia it can be quite unpleasant not only for the child, but for the parents as well...they come out pretty angry and screaming as they are very disoriented etc...and don't be suprised if your little one comes out fine...only to nap a while later, and then truly come out from the anesthesia after you 'thought' he already had. Hang in there mama!

Sorry if any of this was repeated in pp's....I wanted to just reply quick...and now I'm off to bed!
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the great replies! It helps to hear of other's experiences. I forgot to mention that the surgeon will be doing a newer surgery where he doesn't remove the entire tonsils, but leaves a tiny bit left in the middle. That way he isn't cutting into so much muscle. The recovery is supposed to be a lot quicker and kids need less pain meds afterward. Knowing that helps a lot! I will definitely take ds out to rent a special video or two to take to the hospital. We will bring some lovies and a new toy or two to open up there. I can't imagine entertaining a toddler in a hospital all day. Hopefully it won't be an issue since he will need to sleep and rest. I will also bring my carrier (Ergo) in case he wants to be carried around a lot. And of course, cold treats. I told him about jello and he is so excited to buy it and make it with me. I hope my picky eater likes it!
post #15 of 28
Hi Vick, my son was scheduled this Firday for a T&A but now he is sick. Another mamma sent me a link to this thread. I normally do not come in the Toddler forum, but maybe I should more often!

My son is having the surgery for the same reasons you are -- sleep apnea, speech and hearing problems, etc. In fact he has has sleep apnea since infancy and he has snored like a freight train since he was about 4m old.

I am happy to have found this thread with even more advice. Our surgery is rescheduled for May 13 and I know we are doing the right thing.

Kim
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Sorry to hear your son is sick and that you had to reschedule surgery. I am impatient for it to happen now that i know all of the incredible benefits. It will totally change his life for the better! I followed your link to your blog. Our kiddos have quite a bit in common. Mine has mild hypotonicity also so the surgeon wants him to stay overnight due to extra risks from the low muscle tone. I think he could need extra oxygen because the muscles may relax too much with the anesthesia and pain meds. Be careful with the ibuprofen. I think our surgery notes said to avoid it for 2 weeks before surgery.

I will post about the surgery after it happens and let folks know what to expect. My son's in on May 6th.

Peace.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vick
Sorry to hear your son is sick and that you had to reschedule surgery. I am impatient for it to happen now that i know all of the incredible benefits. It will totally change his life for the better! I followed your link to your blog. Our kiddos have quite a bit in common. Mine has mild hypotonicity also so the surgeon wants him to stay overnight due to extra risks from the low muscle tone. I think he could need extra oxygen because the muscles may relax too much with the anesthesia and pain meds. Be careful with the ibuprofen. I think our surgery notes said to avoid it for 2 weeks before surgery.

I will post about the surgery after it happens and let folks know what to expect. My son's in on May 6th.

Peace.
I look forward to hearing about your sons surgery and QUICK recovery. Jack has done really well with Early Intervention, I am not sure if I was just lucky or what but our experience with them was rewarding. Does your son do EI?
I am also looking forward to the benefits of the surgery. While he is out we are also going to have them draw blood for allergy testing. I have a feeling he is going to have a dairy allergy. He just loves milk and cheese and I probably let him eat way too much of it.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
My son does get speech therapy for articulation issues. Is that what you mean by EI? We saw a physical therapist once for the hypotonicity and she gave us some exercies to do (that we don't). I do, however take him to the pool 2x a week, morning co-op preschool 2x week, gymnastics class 1-2x a week, and then playing in our backyard and at the playground is helping him build muscles. We are also giving him more iron rich foods and a multi vitamin that has iron in it. I have noticed an increase in his muscles in the past month of starting all of this. Are you doing anything for the hypotonicity? Is it mild or more involved? Our son's was diagnosed as genetic mild hypotonicity without cause.

Does the surgeon want your son to stay in the hospital overnight?

As far as allergy testing goes, are you sure the MD will draw the blood and run the blood test for allergies? It is my understanding that this is something that a naturopath does and that MDs & NDs differ in their opinions of the accuracy and relevance. My son had the blood test and that is how we found out about his extensive food allergies. After his recovery from the surgery, I will pursue environmental testing which is the skin prick test and that sounds miserable to me--for everyone! Ugh. So much to do!


Where do you live, On The Fence?
post #19 of 28
Regarding surgery: I had eye surgery to correct lazy eye when I was barely 3. It's one of my earliest memories. I remember feeling sick and being blindfolded, I remember having something bothersome on my hand (the cover for the IV), and really, really disliking the sound of one particular nurse's voice. But it's all pretty hazy, just flashes/impressions.

I more clearly remember having my tonsils out, which was most unpleasant. I can't imagine a 2 year old will be in any less foul a mood than a 12 year old with THAT kind of sore throat. I CAN imagine how rough it's going to be on you, mama! Try to get as much sleep as you can beforehand, because hospital beds and guest recliners aren't comfy and if you're well rested at the get-go you'll be in a better disposition at discharge.

Regarding the reasons for it: You guys have me wondering if I should get DD's hearing tested! She's snored horribly since about 12 mos (Dr. keeps brushing it off ) and at her 18 mo. appt doctor was concerned about her lack of speaking and her growth, as she has dropped percentages such that she's less than 3rd percentile for weight and less than 25th for height (was 25th and 25th to 50th respectively at 12 mos).

Allergy meds helped a little bit with the snoring and congestion, but she snores loudly even while not particularly congested. We haven't noticed any apnea, but DH had similar probs and was diagnosed w/ apnea (although the Navy taking his adenoids out and doing other surgery on his nose did nothing to correct it for him--actually made him snore louder although his apnea was resolved or never actually existed in the first place--but that's another rant)

Looks like I may need to get DD insured through the state again...anything but regular well child visits or the occasional sick visit (we've had one, for pinkeye which turned out to be pinkeye combined w/ an ear infection--nasty bug that went from no symptoms to YIKES in less than 8 hrs) is beyond our budget, especially if she needs to see a specialist.

He wants her to come in at 20 mos. free of charge to weigh her again, and when we go in I am going to insist he take a good look at her tonsils/adenoids!
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vick
My son does get speech therapy for articulation issues. Is that what you mean by EI? We saw a physical therapist once for the hypotonicity and she gave us some exercies to do (that we don't). I do, however take him to the pool 2x a week, morning co-op preschool 2x week, gymnastics class 1-2x a week, and then playing in our backyard and at the playground is helping him build muscles. We are also giving him more iron rich foods and a multi vitamin that has iron in it. I have noticed an increase in his muscles in the past month of starting all of this. Are you doing anything for the hypotonicity? Is it mild or more involved? Our son's was diagnosed as genetic mild hypotonicity without cause.

Does the surgeon want your son to stay in the hospital overnight?

As far as allergy testing goes, are you sure the MD will draw the blood and run the blood test for allergies? It is my understanding that this is something that a naturopath does and that MDs & NDs differ in their opinions of the accuracy and relevance. My son had the blood test and that is how we found out about his extensive food allergies. After his recovery from the surgery, I will pursue environmental testing which is the skin prick test and that sounds miserable to me--for everyone! Ugh. So much to do!


Where do you live, On The Fence?

I live in Alabama. Yes, the MD is doing the blood draw for allergies. I've never heard of anyone else doing it. I have actually been seeing an allergist here since I was 11. Allergy testing is huge here, even pediatricians do it. As for the skin prick test, an allergist here has a test they do on children under 4 and its on the skin but is pain free. My other son had it when he was 2. People from all over come to see this guy, even Canada! I did the prick tests at 11 -- I was miserable!

No the ENT does not want him to stay in the hospital over night. He doesnt seem concerned about the hypotonia issues at all since he is outgrown or conquer most of them.
We did physical therapy through EI starting at 13 months old. At first it was daunting but I did the exercises three times a day with him. At first he cried, so I did some of them while he nursed or my husband did. Then we made stuff as a game and he didn't seem to mind so much anymore. My son has the same daignosis as yours does. There seems to be no reason really as to why he has/had it. They currently consider him "cured" of it. At one time there was a discussion of doing a muscle biopsy and I told them "hell no". I will say that Jack had anemia and it was very bad. I gave him a script for it for several months. He was unable to eat/swallow any foods so I was exclusively breastfeeding him until nearly 15m old. That was really daunting because he was wanting to eat like every hour. (this is when we got an occupational therapist) I usualy do not give my children meat until well after two but when Jack began eating solids I did give him chicken and beef and fish. His anemia was gone by 20 m old. He had trouble eating certain types of veggies for awhile, but now can eat anything. The only thing that seems to be lingering is the speech issue.
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