21 answers

Tonsillectomy for a 2-Year-old?

Hi all,

My daughter just turned 2 in December, and we have been noticing for several months that she snores very loudly and often gags or coughs in her sleep. She also wakes frequently and changes her position a lot and seems tired in the morning. I could see that her tonsils looked large, but she has never had any problems with throat or ear infections. We saw an ENT specialist last week who took one look and said that she needed to have them removed, they are so big that they are touching each other. Both my husband and father had their tonsils out, but they were older at the time. I am just wondering, does anyone have experience with this type of surgery in a child that is so young? Thanks!

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Thank you to everyone for your input. It seems like the majority of you have had pretty positive experience with tonsillectomy, and it really helps to know that we can do something that will help our daughter sleep better. Even though I still don't like the idea of doing anything that will cause her pain, no matter how long it lasts, the long term benefits for her have to come first. If anyone has suggestions on how to help her feel better while she is healing, I welcome those too. Again, thank you all so much for your time and caring!

Featured Answers

My son had the same problem. He had his tonsils out last summer and it was the best thing we did for him. He bounced back very quickly (literally was outside playing the same day I brought him home). I would highly recommend it. It worked wonders for us. We went to Akron ENT over by City Hospital. They were very good.

Hi, my daughter had them out at 2 and her adnoids. Her tonsils where so large too that she could hardly breath! She has done sooo much better since then and grown like a weed! If you have any more questions please email me at ____@____.com.

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I would recommend it. My daughter had her tonsils out around this age and the best thing is that they won't even feel any pain at all. I just recently had my tonsils out at 33 yrs. old and I was out for 2 weeks. My daughter did great and about after a day or so, she was back to normal! My daughter had enlarged tonsils and snored loudly too. I didn't have a second opinion because the doctor that we had was the best around so I certainly did my research and found out nothing compared to what the doctor had previously told me. We used Dr. Cotton (Children's Hospital) and he and his team was excellent!! Good Luck!

Yes, yes, yes. But do they whole thing at once. My daughter had the same problem and we just had her adnoild removed, then 2 years later we were back at Childrens to remove her Tonsils. She bounced back from the Surger really quick and at that age popcicles for a meal what more could they ask for? Hope that everything works out Ok

My son had the same problem. He had his tonsils out last summer and it was the best thing we did for him. He bounced back very quickly (literally was outside playing the same day I brought him home). I would highly recommend it. It worked wonders for us. We went to Akron ENT over by City Hospital. They were very good.


Listen to your ENT, My son goes and sees doctor rubin in Perrysburg. He has treated my husband and my son. My son just turned 2 as well but has not had to have his tonsils out yet but Dr. Rubin had helped with his ear tubes. My son has had no more ear infections sence they were put in( knock on wood).

My daughter had them out at 2 and my son at 1. It's actually more stressful for you than them!!My daughter's were the same as your child just no snoring. My son was developing apnea and snored like a frieght train!! He also was tired all the time. It was the best thing I did for them!!!

My daughter had her tonsils out right after her 3rd Birthday and the doctor did a fantastic job she had alot of problems with her health and eating habits before and she is six now and is hardly ever sick and she has a very healthy appetite. If they are touching each other you do want them removed as soon as possible you will be happy and so will your child.

I would do some research on this. I am learning in anatomy and physiology that your tonsils are very important because they are part of your lymphatic system which fights infections. Can they just ermove one and not the other? Good luck.

My best friends little girl had to have her tonsils removed also not because of infections but because they were constricting her airway. All I have ever heard is that with any procedure, the earlier it is done the better because younger patients heal faster. I can tell you that it has made a world of differnce for Emily. She sleeps so much better and even speaks easier. Her voice was getting very raspy from them. She was about 5 when she finally had it done and did very well with it. Best of Luck to you.

YES! My daughter was barely three when she had her tonsils and adenoids removed for sleep apnea and enlarged tonsils. Her tonsils were causing her to gag at the slightest things, so he suggested we take them out along with the adenoids. Things went very smoothly!! She vomited once or twice after surgery (which occurs often since some blood will get in her stomach) and that was pretty much the end of it. Postop, make SURE you give meds as directed (probably pain meds EVERY 4 hours) to keep her from having severe pain!!!! Good Luck!!

If you go ahead and have this procedure done, make sure you have a support person for yourself. It is a two man job for sure.

My daughter is 3 and had hers taken out in November. She was like your daughter with trouble sleeping and she would also get choked everytime she would eat!! Our ENT also took one look and wanted them out!! We were told that it would be rough for about two weeks then she would better!! It was a nightmare for about a month and a half!!! She was in misery!!! I couldn't leave her side and medicine time was terrible!! I don't want to scare you, i just want to let you know that when they say it's no big deal - IT IS!!!! She is much better now and over all I'm glad we had it done!! But just be prepared, it's bad!! My 10 year old neice just had hers removed and she had to go back in for another surgery two weeks later because she started bleeding uncontrollably. She developed blood clots, and had to have a second sergery to fix the bleeding. So make sure you get all the facts and think it over!! Everyone heals different! I just wanted to share our story!! I hope everything goes well!!

Hi, my daughter had them out at 2 and her adnoids. Her tonsils where so large too that she could hardly breath! She has done sooo much better since then and grown like a weed! If you have any more questions please email me at ____@____.com.

My son had his tonsils and adnoids removed around 2 also. It went very smoothly for him. We did it as an outpatient. He slept so much better after that. He is now almost 12 with no complications at all. Before the tonsillectomy he was not sleeping well and had several unexplainable high fevers. Now he is very healthy.

A., Unfortunately I have no experiences with this--YET! I just wanted to say that my 2-year-old also has very large tonsils and 2 weeks ago he severely choked 3 times within one week. I figured they were probably enlarged or something b/c it hasn't happened since. I had my tonsils out when I was 6. I know that tonsilectomies are pretty rare these days unless the dr feels it is absolutely necessary. I know kids who've had 2 or 3 cases of tonsilitis and still the dr said we're not taking them out...they'll get over it in a few days. So, if the ENT feels like she should have them out, I'd say listen to him.
I will be interested in reading the responses you get! Good Luck! If you think about it, post an update to let us know how it went.

I haven't had any experience with it with my own daughter but my little sister had problems with her tonsils being too large. She would actually stop breathing at night because her tonsils were blocking her airway when she was asleep. It took a long time to figure out what was going on but when she finally had the surgery she was fine and no longer quit breathing at night. I have heard that they heal better and faster when they have it done at an earlier age. Good luck!

i had mine tooken out when i was a kid n they wont let ya go home after the surgery inless u eat a pieace of toast or icecream....thats what they did to me...it might be diffrent with a 2 yr old thoe they might not make the child eat nothing if she dont want to...but she may be cranky for about 2 or 3 days because it is painfull so be ready.....

My sonhad his removed at 21 months. The surgery went fine and he seemed to bouce right back from it. The only problem I had was getting him to eat or drink anything for a few days. But if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

Hi A.! My son's doctor also requested this procedure when he was two years old. The ENT we went to is someone we know on a personal basis. He suggested that my son have his adenoids removed, but not the tonsils. The reason is that it is a very diffcult surgery for a two year old. It is painful and requires them to take in a lot of fluids. He informed me that most two year olds and younger end up hospitalized and on an IV due to dehydration. It is highly recommended that the child be older before the tonsils are removed. The adenoids is a simple procedure. Today, the ENT does not believe that my sons tonsils need removed as they do not appear as large as before. Maybe he grew into them :-)


My experience with this surgery is that earlier is better. She may be a little sore and cranky for a day or two, but young children heal far faster than adults and tend not to remember even having the surgery when they're older.

I wouldn't worry. This is a VERY routine surgery and I think you'll find that she will sleep much better afterward. You'll be glad you did it.

Best of luck to you.

I had my tonisls out when I was 2 1/2. The only thing I remember was getting to eat alot of ice cream and being pulled around the hospital in a wagon. My point is, it must not have been a very traumatic incident. Good Luck.


I went through this as a child and most doctors told my mother I was too young at the time (2-5 yrs). Until one specialist from the cystic fibrosis center told my mother he was amazed no other doc had seen how huge my tonsils were and not taken them immediately. HE took me off ALL drugs and scheduled it pronto. My mother had to fight to find a doc to do something. It was uncommon then to take them out that young, now quite the contrary. Ever since then, I have had absolutely NO problems Ears, nose or throat wise. I was miserable when I was little. Extremely tired, lethargic, ear infections, soar throat from coughing, vomiting from coughing, apnea...you name it, I went through it. I don't think treating it drug wise until they are older is smart either for a child. It would have been great if they had done it earlier on me. Go for it...it sounds to me like your baby is miserable without it. Best of luck, S.

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