advice on large tonsils - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 08-13-2002, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
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My 4 year old son has superlarge tonsils, at night he has some sleep apnea (sleepstudy). He does not have strepp or ear infections or any symtoms of allergies, he is pretty healthy now. When he was 15 month old he had to have surgery because an abcess formed next to the lymph under the ear. It took him forever (over a year ) to recover from all the anibiotics. His doc and a specialist want me to take his tonsils out. My husband and I feel that we want to keep his tonsils intact and avoid surgery if at all possible, but at night we see him struggle, and he is skinny and wakes up groggy and kranky every morning.And the lymph on the side were the surgery still hurts him , it's swollen and painful. We are torn. Who knows of a painless way to treat him or have him tested ? Any advice (besides surgery) will be warmly welcomed.
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#2 of 3 Old 08-13-2002, 04:50 AM
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I am not a doctor (or anything else "medical") so I can't offer any medical advice. All I can do is tell you what I would do if I were in your situation (and why)...

Basically, I would get a second opinion. I would contact a specialist (or two) in sleep apnea first (a different specialist) and specifically ask if over large tonsils can cause it (or make it worse, since it sounds like your little guy is really struggling, poor thing! )...

If the "superlarge" tonsils are causing sleep apnea, I would feel obliged to really consider the surgery. But if there are other, less invasive treatments (that's where seeing a specialist in sleep apnea comes in) I would be tempted to try those first.

For two reasons.
First, I know only one adult that has sleep apnea and that person had their tonsils removed as a kid.
Second, I do not have sleep apnea but do have very large tonsils. Now, I do NOT know if they are just "large" or "superlarge"... but I do remember frequent joking comments about how large my tonsils were at most check-ups growing up (I still get them on occasion when I see a doctor as an adult). I also remember getting fairly frequent strep throat as a kid and overhearing my mom talking to my doctor about having them removed. Remember, this is just a childhood memory (I was less than 8 yrs old at the time) so it might not be accurate but what I recall is the doctor wanting to take them out and my mom wanting to wait and see if they infections would go away. I can only assume that the doctor agreed to wait since I still have my tonsils today (and have not had strep throat since I was a kid).

Good luck. And with all the smart and savvy people in here, perhaps someone else will have better advice. (Hope so! )

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#3 of 3 Old 08-13-2002, 08:40 PM
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When I was in first grade I was told I had VERY LARGE tonsils and ALL the doctors here in this big town wanted to take them out... Thankfully my mom didn't... We found out that my reaction to Dairy was large tonsils (I don't remember having sleep apnea though) but they were bigger than golf balls, more like nectorines... Getting them smaller was a pain, I remember putting castoil on the outsides of my neck... If I were in your shoes, I would find a ND to test for allergies (not the skin test that the MD does)... The one I go to is in the Atlanta, GA area (a 4 hour drive one way for me) Atleast this will rule out allergies...
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