H.D. asks from Manhattan, KS on February 28, 2009
6 Year Old Getting Her Tonsils Out
My daughter started Kindergarten this year in August. By December she had had strep throat 3 times. It finally cleared up after getting in twice in December, in January. But we saw a specialist who said we should probably get her tonsils out. I was all for it back in January. But the problem is that she's been perfectly healthy ever since. We scheduled her surgery for March 16th because that was her spring break and she would need to miss a week of school. Now I'm wondering if we should even go through with this. I hate to have an unnecessary surgery that will be painful for my baby, but if it's the best thing, I definately want to do it. I'm so conflicted. Has anybody else gone through this???
So What Happened?™
Well Taylor does snore and always has. I don't remember her being particularly sick a lot prior to going to school. And frankly she's been sick 3 times since school has started, all 3 of those times she ended up having strep. The 2nd time she got sick during christmas break and we took her to Kstat. They have her a 10 day prescription for amoxicillin prescription that I thought was a little low dosage. Usually I get atleast amox250 for her but I want to say this was 100. But she did get better and finished her antiobiotics as school started back up. Then 3 or 4 days back in school the nurse calls me and back to kstat we go because her reg doctor was booked that day. So Kstat told us to follow up with our reg doctor. We did and Minocha didn't even have her come in, just sent us to a specialist. Specialist said it would be a good idea. I don't know. She hasn't been sick since beginning January. I just have experience with doctors and them not listening to patients and I do not want to put her through this if it's unnecessary...Our preop appt is March 9. I guess I'll express my fears and concerns at that appointment. Thanks so much for your responses.
I just wanted to let everyone know that we made the decision in her preop appointment, not to do the surgery and she hasn't had a sore throat since January 09! For now I feel that's the best decision. I'm not sure that she'll be able to keep them forever, but I feel she will for now.
J.B. answers from Kansas City on March 02, 2009
Personally, I would get a second opinion or wait until next year. I have always snored. I had strep twice a year or more in elementary school but eventually outgrew it - I think I've only had it a couple of times since becoming an adult. Unless she is always breathing through her mouth, I would just wait. Good luck!
B.H. answers from St. Louis on March 01, 2009
If the doctor is saying they need to come do it now. Don't wait like i did making my daughter worse. I wish i had did it when she was younger when the doctor told me..Good Lock
A.B. answers from Kansas City on March 01, 2009
H....go through with the surgery! I was the exact same way when I was her age...I am so thankful my parents had my tonsils removed. Never had a problem again with strep throat.
Now my oldest daughter (20 years) is having her tonsils out this spring break. Her strep just started showing up a year ago. She had to be hospitalized because she got so sick! I never want her to go through that again.
1 mom found this helpful
C.W. answers from Kansas City on March 01, 2009
As an adult who had problems with strep, tonseiltous(sp) and such and then it all cleared up and my parents chose to never take them... I wish they had, because now as an adult I still get strep and it takes me down for two and three days and I also struggle with what are called tonsil stones... I really wish my parents would have had them removed when I was at an age where it was not so dangerous, now I get to deal with being sick as an adult and wishing technology was further along on removing them and not being so dangerous for adults to have them taken out.
D.S. answers from Kansas City on March 01, 2009
I went thru two tonsilectomy's last year. My 14 year old had the strep issue. It turns out she is a carrier and would never get over it fully. As soon as she was off the anti-biotics, it would come right back! We elected to do the surgery because I was tired of pumping useless drugs in to her! She has not had strep one time since! It's been a blessing.
My 4year old had enlarged tonsils that would block her airways when she would lay down to sleep causing her apnea type symptoms. She would wake up every night crying two or three times. We thought she was having nightmares or something until I really started watching her when she would sleep. I noticed she was snoring and gasping and tossing and turning. I asked her pediatrician and he suggested we see an ENT. I took her to the same one that did my 14 year old's surgery and he said enlarged tonsils are not a bad thing UNLESS they come with the apnea symptoms. Then it's dangerous for the child. So we elected to have them out and she sleeps so much better now! No more waking and crying. She sleeps more comfortably.
As with any surgery, there are always risks, but I wouldn't fight the strep thing. Your child taking all those prescription drugs are far worse.
Hope my story helps you with your decision! It truly was the best thing we did for both of our girls!
C.B. answers from St. Louis on March 01, 2009
I would say for you to go ahead and have the surgery done. Take it from my personal experience. I had a terrible time when I was younger. I had so many strep throat infections, it was like I was in the doctor's office every month or every other month for a while. I was in 7th grade when they wanted to take my tonsils out. All of a sudden I stopped getting strep so they decided to leave my tonsils in. Well, I got into college and the cycle started all over again. I had gotten strep, mono, strep, strep, etc. all within a few months. I finally had to have my tonsils out when I was 21 years old. That was terrible. It took me 3 weeks to recover from that surgery. It is much less traumatic on younger kids to have their tonsils out. Take it from me....have the surgery now. Your daughter will thank you for it in years to come! Good luck!
A.F. answers from Lawrence on March 01, 2009
Do it. My daughter fought strep infections for months. We finally went to her ENT and they scheduled to get her tonsils and adnoids out. She almost didn't get to do the surgery as scheduled because she had another infection the week before. They can't do the sugery if the child is sick. I know pain is the biggist concern and my daughter did have pain, we almost had to stay at the hospital over night because she wouldn't drink. But think about the pain of strep throat, it hurts to swallow anything then also. My daughter was 5 years old and snoring because of the infections. She actually had to do some speach therapy sessions to strengthen her soft pallet, because the infected tonsils and andoids were always pressing on it. My daughter is now 17 and hasn't had strep more than a couple of times since the surger 12 years ago.
L.F. answers from Kansas City on March 01, 2009
Six is supposedly an easier age to have the surgery because they are able to communicate how they feel. They also have a book available that you could read with her to let her know what to expect prior to surgery too. However, my daughter had strep throat 5 times during her 1st grade year and my pediatrician did send us on to the ENT Specialist but he advised NOT to have them taken out even though it did seem like she had it alot.
Are her adenoids enlarged too? Maybe they would take those out at the same time although I've heard they do have a chance at growing back on their own anyway. Does she have other deviated symptoms like snoring? I was thinking if she had other problems then maybe I'd be leaning more toward doing it but if she's stayed healthy since Christmas and we're now headed into Spring than I'd be more likely to just play the wait and see game. You could always have the surgery done over the summer. What's a few more months...I don't think it's too late to cancel the surgery and reschedule for a later date until you feel more comfortable. I know the doctors kind-of have a guideline for how many times a child gets strep/tonsilitis in a certain period of time as to if they think they should be a candidate for getting them removed.
If I were you...I'd get a second opinion and/or refer back to your pediatrician for his/her thoughts on the subject too. Also search on www.webmd.com for more info. about this topic. You have to be an informed parent and advocate for you child. Obviously, there are risks with any surgery and yes, my nephew recently had his out and it does hurt and she'll need a week to recuperiate BUT if the benefits outway the risks then pray about it and move forward with the surgery.
Chances are this won't be the last time she ever gets it but maybe she'll get it less often. My pediatrician told me that someone else who my daughter was around on a regular basis at school with must have been a carrier so that's why she kept getting it. My daugther is in 3rd grade now and hasn't had a case of strep since. And, I'm so thankful too!
Some choices are the hardest to make when it comes to our kids because we love them unconditionally and always want what's best for them but have faith that you're doing what's right for her. It's hard to give advice or opinions regarding medical issues because we may not know the whole story so obviously you want to trust your doctor's opinion but in my personal experiences over 9 years with my 4 children...I have to say I'm glad and have never regretted asking lots of questions and realizing that Dr's can be wrong sometimes too. Trust is your MOMMY intuition! Best wishes!
T.E. answers from Kansas City on March 01, 2009
My daughter had her tonsils removed when she was 5, but thats only because her tonsils were always enlarged, which in turn restricted her breathing at night. She might of had strep 1 time. For my daughter at age 5, It was a pretty uncomfortable recovery for her. Shes now 9 though and has not had strep since. But I'm not sure if the removal of tonsils, prevents getting strep throat? Best of luck with your decision, and recovery.
K.L. answers from St. Louis on March 01, 2009
Before I offer my perspective for your consideration, you might want to read about the 'reasons' and risks MDs report about this procedure at: http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard.... Also see this website written by an experienced surgeon: http://www.otohns.net/default.asp?id=13089.
I had my tonsils out when I was 7. I have vivid memories of how frightening the experience was. For some reason, it became a popular belief that children were better off without these unnecessary parts of our anatomy. The only reason my tonsils were removed was because my older brother and two 'sore throat' events in close proximity. So, all three of my siblings and I went in and had surgery the same day. Although MDs do not generally get away with cashing in on families by cutting all their children at once today, I am still cautious about any doctor suggesting these surgical procedures too wantonly.
As an adult, I have read books by MDs that explain how common trends for unnecessary medical procedures are commonly done on children. He explained how parents are often frightened into letting the doctors think for them instead of consulting various doctors as consultants. He said that, sadly, many doctors get into the habit of frightening parents instead of helping them find better solutions. Part of the reason is that doctors are pressured to have the answer that works immediately and know they cannot be sued for following standard medical procedures diligently. He further explained how doctors develop the habit of manipulating parents into compliance.
I do not know your pediatrician and am not trying to suggest his/her motives are dubious. I do feel, however, that the training MDs receive today is very limited. They are not trained to find the real reason a person is vulnerable to illness and to strengthen the body as it was designed to function. Instead they either numb the body's ability to respond with medications or they remove the parts that respond. Compared to other healthcare practices, this appears barbaric to me. In a crisis situation, invasive medical procedures can be miraculous. But, when it is not a real crisis, the risks of invasive procedures needs to be considered in the light of safer, and often more effective, possibilities.
The tonsils and adenoids are part of the lymphatic system, which is largely responsible for many of the body's immune responses. I would not ever consider having these 'first responders' removed before understanding why they have become vulnerable to infections and whether or not there is any evidence they have been damaged. Although they certainly cannot become infected once they are removed, the question then is, "What else might be left vulnerable if the tonsils and adenoids aren't there to respond?" The doctor may have explained the 'benefits' of removing tonsils and adenoids, but has he/she explained the benefits of strengthening and keeping them?
I would not even dream of subjecting my child to the risks of surgery without finding out if there is a better solution. It is difficult to get a real 'second opinion' from MDs with the same training and perspective. All you tend to get there is repetition of the same opinion. If you want to learn a different approach to solving the issue, see a chiropractor, a naturopath, a nutritionist, or a homeopath. You might be surprised at how much you can learn from them. We have successfully avoided many risky medications and surgical procedures and are much healthier today because we learned to seek the safe way first and to use the risky medical procedures as a final alternative.
It seems so odd to me that most people consider the safer and more reasonable health practices to be the 'alternative' to medical practices. It seems to me it should be the other way around.
Hope this info helps you come to a confident decision. I wish all kids had parents like you, who are willing to do the research and respect their own instincts when making decisions for their children's well-being.