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Up Topic Communities / Women / Tonsil removal in 4 yr old?
- - By stickywicket Date 2018-03-15 1:33 PM
Hi guys, any experience or thoughts in this department?
I think I may have posted about a related question a while ago. Mini has humongous tonsil (as do I, yay!: pbbt:) Not long after he turned 3 we realized his breathing when he was sleeping was pretty bad. Sounded like he was breathing through a small straw. Sometimes he would stop and then start coughing. Around then he would come to our bed in the middle of the night and we figured he was waking up from the breathing issues. Took him to the doc who prescribed a steroid nasal spray which we did for a few weeks and he referred us to a specialist. The spray did actually seem to make a bit of a difference, but we stopped when we finished the prescription since we didn't want to keep giving him steroids. Then came spring, summer, lots of travel, and now we're back in NZ, and during all of this, his breathing definitely improved. It's not perfect, still snores, and if he's just sitting around listening to something and relaxes his muscles you can hear the little snorey grunt breathing as well, but definitely much better than it was.   
we finally had the appointment with the specialist. DH took him. She took one look at his tonsils and declared him winner in tonsil size. She wants to remove them. She said this stuff doesn't usually get cleared up until age 6 or 7, that it's possible it's better because of it being summer and will get worse with winter again, when he has colds, etc. prolonged sleep apnea can cause behavior and development problems in children. That said, anasthesia can always have complications and I read is not great for little kids either. Infection, and bleeding are all possible complications. If we schedule him now it would take a few months before he's actually called in. We could wait, and she will follow up in 6 months, and then if we want surgery would still take a few more months for him after that to get scheduled. He's always been super healthy. I guess I feel weird taking out a body part ( they may do adenoids too once they're  in there) and putting him through surgery for something that seems to be improving. On the other hand if waiting it out is causing permanent damage that's not great either.

ETA: he's still 3 but guessing surgery won't happen till he's 4.

Parent - - By gophergirl [us] Date 2018-03-15 2:07 PM
Super common surgery in kids and minor procedure but always risk of anything. To look at the other side, most (but not all) tonsils shrink by age 8-9, another option to consider is nasal steroid when worse and wait on surgery.
Parent - By stickywicket Date 2018-03-15 2:16 PM
The nasal steroid is what we had. We used it for a bit and it did make it better. Since it's better now I was leaning to waiting and giving some more of the spray if it gets worse in winter and reassessing in 6 months. I am always wary of doing things that are irreversible, but not sure if I'm being silly here.
He got those monster tonsils from me. Docs always do a double take when they see mine, but I've never had any issues - tho possible that my parents didn't really know about sleep apnea when I was his age.
Parent - By newfmrs Date 2018-03-15 3:06 PM
DD1 had hers removed due to sleep apnea at 4.  It made a huge difference for her for sleeping.  Hers apnea caused her to not get a good night of sleep and she'd wake a ton and come to find me.  Her recovery wasn't awful but was rough for about a week (with eating and discomfort.)  I don't recall it being a terribly long surgery.
Parent - By sarahbanana Date 2018-03-16 9:26 AM
My son had his removed due to sleep apnea at age 3.5.  The surgery and recovery were very difficult and painful for him but I believe it helped with his sleep issues.

My daughter's tonsils are even larger (they are almost touching in the middle) and I have declined to consider surgery.  She has loud breathing and snoring but it doesn't have a severe effect on her sleep.

I would consider surgery if the tonsil issues were causing significant problems in daily activities or development (is he behind developmentally, does he seem exhausted?).  Otherwise I would not.  My son had night terrors almost every night, couldn't run around much because he would get out of breath, etc.  If the nasal spray is effective I would absolutely go with that first.  According to the many ENTs we've seen, the nasal steroid is local and doesn't enter their system so has little to none of the risks commonly associated with steroid use.  My son has also taken oral steroids for croup and it is way different than that.

When they say 10 days recovery time, they mean it.  It was 10 days of severe pain, not being able to eat, nausea due to that, awake crying every 1-2 hours all night every night, not being able to get him to take the tylenol and ibuprofen because it hurt too much to swallow... really just miserable.  I wouldn't do it unless the situation was pretty severe.  Of all the parents I've talked to about 9/10 have that type of experience but I have met 2 that said their kids recovered easily.  One of them though was a kid who didn't even notice when he broke his arm :/  My son melts down if he gets a minor scratch so I knew what to expect.
Parent - By elmtree Date 2018-03-16 11:00 AM
I had my tonsils/adenoids out when I was 14, and it was an absolutely nightmare.  It had to be done because I was constantly getting strep, having problems breathing, etc.  I was in the hospital for longer than usual because I kept vomiting blood.  I ended up out of school for a week and a half.  It was ungodly painful and I was miserable.  That said?  I haven't had strep since! And I don't have problems breathing because of my massive tonsils!
Parent - - By BoredTemp [us] Date 2018-03-16 6:50 PM
huh - I guess I'm one of the wierdos....

I had mine out in 2nd grade because I had strep that they couldn't get rid of.   Every Wednesday I was at the nurse with a fever again.

I also had my adenoids out at the same time.

I was in the hospital for a short time - I do remember vomiting in the recovery room, and I remember one day of having a sore throat at home, but that's it.   Granted, this is 30+ years ago, but I've never had strep again since and I don't have any memories of it being particularly bad.

Point being - even if it's horrible at the time, memories fade, and for me it was definitely worth it.
Parent - By stickywicket Date 2018-03-17 12:44 AM
When I broke my arm, because I had either eaten or drank in teh previous couple hours, they said they couldn't knock me out to reset it, but they said they would give me something to make me forget. I was like, no way!:cry::cry::cry:

I don't remember the pain, but I'm still not pleased.:laugh:: pbbt:
Parent - - By stormcatcher (celebrate with me) Date 2018-03-16 11:32 PM
City DNA and I were 4 when we went under the knife back in the 1770s. :wink: It hurt like a very, very bad sore throat for a while. On the flip side, I've never had strep, had a handful of resp illnesses when I was a kid, and have not had that many as an adult (I can literally recall nearly every resp illness because I get them so rarely). I was in my 20s for my one and only ear infection. I've lost tonsils and gallbladder and I've done okay without a few body parts. : pbbt:
Parent - - By stickywicket Date 2018-03-17 12:42 AM
Hi Stormy!!! :grin:

You realize they can take those body parts and regenerate a clone of you? Oh, wait...they already did...:shocker!:

And btw - I flew through Denver a few weeks ago - no mothership! WTH?:mutmad:
Parent - By stormcatcher (celebrate with me) Date 2018-03-17 9:08 PM
I tease her all the time that she is my "spare parts". :shocker!:

The mothership! :laugh: I probably haven't eaten Chipotle in 5 years. They did something to the food and the last time I ate there, the food was so spicy and hot, I threw it away. Never again. :meh:
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-03-19 2:29 PM
Visiting from L&O.......I had mine out when I was 4, back in 1971.  I remember my throat hurt really bad, but my grandpa brought me chocolate ice cream (and did not let my brothers have ANY), and that made me feel better.  Blazergirl had three cases of strep within a four month period when she was 5, so they took her's out.  It maybe took 30 minutes and she was back to yapping and running around within a few days.  She is now 20 and has never had strep since!
Parent - - By judyruns Date 2018-03-19 3:25 PM
Tonsils were removed when I was 5 years old. (I'm 75 now, so 70 years ago in the medical dark ages.) Multiple infections, tonsilitis, bronchitis, and polio epidemic fears at that time as well made it necessary. Throat was pretty sore, stomach upset. Recovery was not bad though and pretty quick.

Actually, the real traumas of it were my being away from my mother in a hospital over several nights, being in a crib (like jail), and the ether they used back then for anaesthesia. Even at my tender age I knew I was breathing a poisonous gas and was sure I was dying. Things are so much better medically now.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-03-20 8:57 AM
5 and in a crib? That does sound like jail. And ether. Yikes. They don't use that at all any more, do they?
Parent - - By judyruns Date 2018-03-21 6:03 AM
Seventy years ago things were primitive medically. Yes. In a crib. Weird. One child in the ward had a net tied over the top of the crib "because she walks in her sleep". She was caged! :shocker!: I think there were only 2 of us in the whole big ward.
Ether is awful. I can even recall hallucinating a rotating red/white pinwheel before I passed out. Those were dark days. Things are so much more humane now.
Parent - By stickywicket Date 2018-03-21 12:35 PM
Parent - By runnertype [us] Date 2018-03-21 3:35 PM
I'd do it. And do it before he gets older; because the older a kid is, the longer the recovery. I had mine out at age 4, no problems. DS had his out at age 9 and it took him a week to really recover. He had a fair amount of pain for a few days but it was manageable with liquid Norco.

Neither one of us has had strep since tonsillectomy.
Up Topic Communities / Women / Tonsil removal in 4 yr old?

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