31 answers

Worried About Getting Tonsils Out/tubes In! Any Good or Bad Experiences ?

Recently a friend sent out an email about how her year has started off with a BAD few bangs... and I was thinking to myself how fortunate we have been with our children and their health. Then we went to the Doctor today. I asked Emma's pediatrition if he could give us a referrel to an ear nose and throat doctor becuase her tonsils are SO huge and she breathes through her mouth all the time and it sounds like she is sick. That was the only reason we wanted to have her checked on other than ear infections.

After the doctor checked Emma today he suggested we stay and have a hearing test done becuase when he checked her ears there was fluid in them. We did the hearing test and Emma has substantial hearing loss in both ears due to have constant fluid in them. Amazing how two words can crush your heart and affect your thoughts on your parenting abilities. Our sweet baby has hearing problems and we never noticed it. TO be fair to ourselves we did know she was behind in her speech but we always assumed it was "second child syndrome".

SO we are now scheduled to go to Childrens on the 23rd so Emma can get her tonsils and adnoids removed as well as have tubes put in her ears. They are hoping that with the tubes draining the fluid her hearing loss will only be temporary and will return to "normal". They said that he tonsils being so large is the cause of her breathing so loudly and hard, the hoarseness or her voice, her ear infections and so on. She will have to stay in the hospital overnight since she is so little. SHe is a lover of swimming and she cannot even do that now until four weeks after her surgery when we have to get custom fitted ear plugs.

I know these things are routine procedures, but it is not so routine when it is your own child. I have a friend that went through the same tonsil delimna last year and her little one turned out fine and has been doing great. I felt bad enough when she was going through it but I had no idea....

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First of all, Thank you to all of you who have sent notes, stories, prayers, and love our way, it was greatly appreciated! Other Moms are the best friends we have when we are in need!
Wanted to let you all know that Emma's surgery was yesterday at 0945 and it took about 30 min and went off without a hitch! She was in a lot of pain when she came out of recovery but she has been a little trooper! She did a LOT of sleeping yesterday but she was drinking juice right away and eating popsicles. She even had mac n cheese and applesauce for dinner last night. She was a champ taking her medicines and putting up with having the IV all night. I think our biggest problem will be to keep her resting the next week. I'm told that day seven is when it starts to get hard though. Already her breathing sounds a lot better even with all of the swelling of her throat and sinuses. She still had a bit of apnea when she was in recovery but according to the nurse was able to recovery herself and correct it, when she was sleeping in her room I did not see her stop breathing once! It is too soon to say wether the tubes have helped her hearing a lot yet but she will have another hearing test at her follow-up visit with the doctor in a few weeks. I had no idea what to expect with the tubes but am happy to say I can't see them and we haven't had any problems keeping them dry when Emma had her bath tonight.
All of the nurses and other employees at Childrens were amazing! You can tell they really love their jobs by the way they treat the people there and I think that makes a big difference.
Now I am off to bed... amazing how you can get NO rest when your baby is sick!

all my love

Featured Answers

It really isn't that bad. My son is severely disabled and he did fine. I will tell you, sometimes adnoids can grow back, as they did with my son. He had his adnoids out and then 6 months later had his adnoids and tonsils out. We went to Fairview the first time and the Cleveland Clinic the 2nd time. He did fine both times.
Good Luck!
Jenn.......

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I am a mother of two boys 9 and 5. My oldest son has had 3 sets of tubes in his ears, and it's the best thing that we have done for him. He does better at school and at home. I would highly recommend the tubes. He says that he can't even tell that they are there. He as alomost all his hearing back in his right ear, but still has the tube in his left, it has not fell out yet. Hope this helps you out some.

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Hi,
My 3 yr old daughter had her tonsils taking out in Sept. Her breathing is so much better. Her snoring was so Loud she out snored her father. Come to find out it was because of her HUGE tonsils and adnoids. She sleeps so silently now. It actually scared me at first that I couldn't hear her sleeping.

Now as fas as the surgery, know that after the fact your daughter will not be herself. My daughter did not eat for almost a week after it because her throat hurt so much. Try as much as you can to get her to drink. Get her some drinks with vitamins and such. If she wants to eat or drink whatever give it to her anything will help. The more she swallows the better. It may hurt but it helps with the healing. Remember kids are resilent they come back with a flash.
Now my daughter has so much energy because she can finally breathe. If I had to I would do it again just to watch her enjoy life. Hope this helps!

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Get the tubes ASAP!!! My Emma also had the same problem. She was having "silent ear infections". Ear infections with no fevers. I knew she was also behind on speech and walking. We had already had her evaluated and she qualified for therapy for both. At her 18 mo. check-up we caught the ear infections with no symptoms. Went on antibiotic and with-in 2 weeks she was walking and actually started saying mama. Had tubes put in as soon as we could and she just became a different child. Catching up on talking and has been running for a long time now.
Also, about the swimming, One Step Ahead has special ear plugs and a band that fits around their head and covers their ears. The band works wonderfully and doesn't bother our Emma. Actually, after swimming a couple of times with it now she knows she has to have it on.
We have had our first set of tubes since last May and they are still hanging in there.
We didn't get tonsils out but with my job I have seen several who have gotten this same thing done and are in the hospital one night and do great with it. Good luck!!

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Hi there!

Had my son's adnoids and tonsils removed when he was about your daughter's age and it was the BEST thing we ever did. My son had a problem with double ear infections and upper respiratory virus. It had gotten to the point that I was diagnosing him for the doctor. It was the same thing every time we went to the doctor. We took him to a wonder ENT doctor at Akron Children's who determined that he had enlarged tonsils. Tried some medication to shrink them but it didn't work. He had the surgery and since then (knock on wood) has not been sick a day other than the occasional stuffy nose. I would recommend it to anyone. Just be sure to have lots and lots of popsicles and pudding on hand! That was his diet for the couple days after. Good luck.

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I know what your are going through, my daughter is 3 and on December 3rd she had tubes put in her ears. If her surgury isn't in the morning or close to it try to make it as close as you can since she can't eat. I went through the it's different because it's my kid thing too. Once she has it done you may not notice in the first couple of days but you will notice how much better she is doing a week or so after that. The doctors were great with my daughter. She had lost all but 10% of her hearing from her ear infections. She is now at 100% hearing. It will be great for her and you'll make it threw this ok.

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Hi M.,
We went through the same thing last year with my daugther, who at the time was 3. She had ear infections and fluid in both of her ears which also caused her to have some hearing loss. They removed her adnoids and put tubes in her ears. They kept her tonsils in but I think that they might be going this year. It is definitly a scarey time to have your child have any type of surgery. But my daughter was fine through it all and her hearing improved dramatically. As a matter if fact she kept telling us that things were too loud. The doctors know what they are doing. And they probably let you or your husband go into the operating room with her until she is asleep.(I sent my husband. Too emotional for me to see them put my daughter put to sleep.)
I hope that this helps and that your daughter will be fine.
L.

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Hi M.! I have not gone thru the tonsils with my child, but my cousin did...her little girl just turned last fall - poor thing had back-2-back ear infections....and her tonsils where HUGE. So they took them out, adnoids for the second time and her tubes from earlier where still (I believe). The process was not rough at all. And trust me, she is a good girl, but when something is wrong - she let's you know! Anyhow, my cousin said the roughest part was trying to keep her in bed for a few days post-op, because she was feeling so much better. Good luck to you, hope it helped a bit?!

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My daughter had 3 sets of tubes. Hearing loss as well. She also had her anoids removed during the 3rd tube surgery. Our dr. said after a 3rd set he also removes the adnoids to see if that can improve ear drainage. After that she kept getting strep throat. Over and over so within 4 months she had her tonsils also removed. Best thing that could of ever happened. She has been healthy ever since! We are hardly ever at the dr. compared to being there about monthly from the time she was a baby. It seemed liked she was always on some form of antibiotic. I'll be honest. I wish she would of had her tonsils removed sooner.

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I don't have any parent experiences with tonsils out or tubes in. Tonsil and adnoid removal may be around the corner for my three year old though. Reading your question made me want to share information about First Steps. You may be familiar with the program but if not, you may want to look into it if your daughter is experiencing speech delays. First Steps is a program that provides early intervention services including speech therapy to children from birth to three years old who have developmental delays. Fees for services are on a sliding scale. To make a referral or obtain more information, call ###-###-####. I work as a service coordinator with the program and have been very impressed with the therapists.

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Hi, M.,

I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but don't assume the tubes will keep the fluid out for good. My son, who is 6 now, had 13 ear infections before he was 1 yr. old. They finally said he could tubes put in, then almost exactly one year later, he had to have them put in again and had his adnoids removed. then one more year went by and he had to have another set of tubes put in. (for a total of 3 sets of tubes-both ears, and aednoids removed). He also was a late talker...didn't talk til after he was 2.5. (now we can't get him to be quiet! LOL) But we're still always wondering if he has hearing problems. His last set of tubes fell out when he was about 4 yrs. old and thankfully, he's been ear infection/fluid free since. But we also homeschool, so I'm sure if was around kids more often, he'd continue having problems.

I don't know if this is going to help you, but I don't want you to think that tubes will solve everything. They help, but the child can still get ear infections.

Hope this isn't the case with your Emma! God's blessings-A.

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I completely understand how you feel regarding the hearing loss and tubes. My daughter also had a speech delay that we also thought was "second child syndrome." When my pediatrician told me that she had hearing loss due to fluid my heart sank. We went to Children's for a hearing test and then had the PE tubes put in. My daughter did fine and the people at Children's were terrific. She has had no problems with the tubes and we noticed an almost immediate difference in her speech. She still is having some speech problems and has started speech therapy with Children's as well as a program called Help Me Grow. Help Me Grow is also helping us get her into a preschool program through our school district when she turns 3 that will continue to work with her. The actual surgery for the tubes was much quicker than I thought it would be and went very smoothly. We have been back for check ups and the tubes and still in and her hearing is perfectly normal now.

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M., my heart goes out to you. I am a mother of a 2 1/2 year old son (and a girl due in April). My son had to have tubes put in his ears last summer. I know what I nervous wreck I was, even though that was an outpatient surgery, so I can imagine what you're going through with her having to stay overnight. I was a hysterical mess when they took him back. I know it was a wonderful blessing because he didn't have any problems and hasn't had any ear infections since then (knock on wood). Hang in there! Hopefully after this procedure you will see a wonderful change in your daughter.

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I can give you some advise onhaving tubes put in the ears. My son who is 3 had them done a year ago because of constant ear infections that went undetected by myself and his doctor. However right before the tubes were put in he had been sick and had fluid in them and his usual docotor could not get him in so I took him to see a docotor where I worked at who detected the ear infection. After 3 rounds of antiboitics it was not getting better so we were referred to an ENT docotor who saw him on monday and scheduled him for surgery on Friday to put the tubes in. The procedure took 15 minutes at the most, and since then my son has had to have his hearing tested twice, the first time the results were not good way below normal but i had noticed an improvement in his speech being clearer within the first 3 days, so we repeated his hearing test 3-6 months later and he tested above normal. Since the procedure (knock on wood) my son has not had one infection. He is very conscience about getting water in his ears because we have had him aware that it is possible for him to get an ear infection back if he gets water in his ear. Like i said the procedure was very simple and I noticed a major improvement in his speech in the first 3 days. I hope that this has helped you. I know as a mom it is very scary to put your child through something like a surgical procedure but it is for her own good and she will benefit greatly from this! Good luck to you and hope all goes well!

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My daughter had hers out when she was younger! Hers went Fine!
She was a lil sick from the anesthsia (sp) but besides that everything else was good.
My son had tubes put in his ears when he was little too and he was fine as well. Cranky and clingy but thats normal! As longas you have Tylenol/Motrin then things should be fine.
Make sure to have all her fave things on hand to snack on and drink and maybe some coloring books/crayons and stuff she can do quietly while she rests or relaxes. I always get my kids a new stuffed animal of some sort either right before they go in for surgery or right after so they have something new to hold onto for comfort or to wake up to~!

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Hi M., Don't worry about getting tubes.... From what I've read so far in what you've written regarding background medical hx and your daughter, it is the best thing for her. My two year old daughter got tubes put in both ears a year ago and she did great and has never had another ear infection. Surgery took around 10 minutes for tubes (she didn't have anything else done) and recovery was about an hour 1/2 or so... Your surgery is more involved because your having two procedures done. Also, she had a hearing loss in one ear, mild, due to fluid build up at the time they tested her but she could've had fluid build up and actually was because she had what it seemed like one big ear infection that continued and reoccured due to fluid build up being constant. Her speech exploded after tubes came in. So, rest assured your doing the right thing, and you will see a dramatic improvement in speech ane language skills. Also, I'm a pediatric speech language pathologist and I see this all the time! hope this helps! Kathy

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We did the adnoids and the tubes 2 years ago and I would do it again in a heart beat! The surgery (without the tonsils removal, which is becoming a debate due to sleep apnea)was much shorter than they said it would be and recovery was fast, even for a lil man of 23 months old. He did so awesome. He was playing that afternoon and the need for antibiotics and doctors visits cut down to more than HALF for a year. It was the BEST money and time ever spent.

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You are making the right decision and most times the hearing returns to normal. We had similar experience with my oldest son and after similar surgery he regained hearing and had very few throat and breathing problems.

keep up the good work as a good mother.
L.

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I am a mother of two boys 9 and 5. My oldest son has had 3 sets of tubes in his ears, and it's the best thing that we have done for him. He does better at school and at home. I would highly recommend the tubes. He says that he can't even tell that they are there. He as alomost all his hearing back in his right ear, but still has the tube in his left, it has not fell out yet. Hope this helps you out some.

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My daughter had her tonsils and adenoids taken out when she was 20 months old as well as tubes put in her ears and it was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life. While my daughter has always been somewhat advanced, her speech, height, weight, and balance grew substantially once she recovered from her surgery. I highly recommend having it done. I know how hard the decision is and I know how hard the process is, but if I hadn't had it done, my daughter would be profoundly deaf and would not be the gifted 2nd grader she is today.

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My daughter is now 2 and a half and we have been through it all! She has been in daycare since she was six weeks olds. After 14 ear infections, we got her first set of tubes put in at 9 mos. The ear infections continued and the tubes became clogged. As my daughter got older, we realized she was behind in her speech but so far advanced in her cognitive and motor skills that we didn't worry too much. Finally, the ent told us to put the tubes back in and take out her huge adenoids and tonsils as well. She was only 20 mos. when we did this and it was still an out patient procedure (we were in ky at the time though). I will never forget that day. She was still so young and trusting that she went with the nurses with no problem and she was back in my arms and waking up less then two hours later. The worst part for her was the iv in her arm which we covered with a blanket so she didn't see it. The nurses gave us a mini dvd player and put on her favorite movie at the time, Finding Nemo. She watched the movie while eating Popsicle after Popsicle and enjoyed the nurses attention. After walking in less then six hours before, my daughter walked out on her own with her Popsicle in hand waving and blowing kisses to the nurses. It was such a wonderful experience and I am so glad we did it so early. At the time my daughter had two words, neither of which were mom or dad. Four months later, she spoke clear as a bell and had a very rich vocabulary. Also, we haven't had any more ear infections, she sleeps soundly at night without snoring, and has only been sick twice so far this year.
I stressed over it too before we did it and it was the best thing we did for our daughter.

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My son was 18 months old (he just turned 2 now)when he had his tonsils out because they were VERY large and were obstructing his breathing. I can totally understand agonizing over a decision that everyone else is telling you is totally routine. It's different when it's YOUR baby on the table. We went ahead with the surgery because we felt the benefits outweighed the risks of both the surgery and of not having the surgery. Let me say that in retrospect it was the BEST decision we ever made. Our son is a completely different child since the surgery. He breaths normally now which means he is sick less, sleeps better, and eats better which makes him a vastly happier little boy (and us vastly happier parents) overall. I have to admit that his recovery period was longer than expected and a bit of a nightmare. No one in the house slept for 10 days and Thomas the Train was on 24/7. It broke my heart to see my child suffering so much. But again, looking back it was absolutely worth it. So, there is my experience with somewhat elective surgery for enlarged tonsils on a baby. Good luck!

J. (mom of Nathan, 2)

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My son needed tubes in his ears before he turned 1 and it was really tough to see your little baby be drugged and carried away to have a very common and almost completely harmless procedure. But, it all turned out well! After he came out of anesthesia and screamed his head off in the car for about 15 minutes, he slept for almost 4 hours and was back to normal after his nap. He didn't get any more ear infections and he seemed to start talking more right after. My dad is an Otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat doctor...retired now) and he has done probably thousands of those procedures you mentioned above. He even removed both my sister's tonsils!! I never needed them removed. :) My dad never told me about any bad experiences...they were probably far and few between. As for the large tonsils and adenoids, just think that with your child having those so large in her throat, it is actually causing her harm. My boss's son had the same thing, and they did a sleep study on him and found that he actually had sleep apnea and would stop breathing over 200 times in the night. I'm not trying to scare you, but I hope I'm helping you see the good in these procedures and the long term effects are so much more important than the small risk of the surgeries. She'll be talking more, she'll have more energy since she may have the same problem at night with not being able to breathe well, and she'll just be an all-around happier kid! My boss's son had tons more energy once the adenoids and tonsils were removed (he snored at night, and wasn't very energetic during the day, which is why they did the sleep test, and they also found that his adenoids were so large that they were almost touching each other in the center!) She will be fine, and so will you! About the swimming, talk to the doctor about it...i think chlorinated water is fine as long as she doesn't go underwater (with no ear plugs), and I've seen lots of different kinds of ear plugs for kids on-line. It will probably get some getting used to for her though.

Good luck with your daughter!! She will do great!

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In 2005 my 5 year old had both removed, but tubes weren't necessary. His issue was sleep apnea and mine was avoiding discipline problems from the next school year of all-day kindergarten. He could be a handful in the afternoon b/c of the lack of sleep per his tonsils and adnoids.

Operation was 20 mins. He was quite groggy after but was able to come home the same evening. He slept with us for a few nights. I actually had to touch his chest and feel for warm air under his nose b/c he'd never slept so quietly.

NOTE: The surgeon said he did not remove all of the adnoids b/c my son's mouth had a high roof. He said taking all of them could cause him to have a higher voice as an adult. We've learned that my son has an artistic nature and believing the doctor's decision, he'll stay in the alto/tenor range and away from the soprano parts :-)

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I will tell you from my own experience as a child, I had hearing loss, very large tonsils and adnoids. I also got severe ear infections.
I went from not hearing the ticking of a watch before the surgery to hearing it an arms length away.
It was never suggested that I get tubes which may have saved my hearing after all. When I was 16 (51 now) I passed out and it was the only reason my mother took me to a doctor. Now I have hearing loss to the point I find it helpful to lip read. On the phone with all the out sourcing I cannot understand but 1 in 3 or 4 words. Tounge piercings make it hard to understand too.
Don't feel bad about not realizing the late speach it can be corrected now that you know there is a hearing problem.

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It really isn't that bad. My son is severely disabled and he did fine. I will tell you, sometimes adnoids can grow back, as they did with my son. He had his adnoids out and then 6 months later had his adnoids and tonsils out. We went to Fairview the first time and the Cleveland Clinic the 2nd time. He did fine both times.
Good Luck!
Jenn.......

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With all of the great reviews for this surgery I would like to chime in with a work of caution. My husband had tubes put in his ears as a child and while they cleared up the ear infections he has permanents pain and hearing loss in one ear because of them. I would suggest to you that you have the childs tonsils removed BEFORE resorting the tubes in the ears. The tonsils could be the cause of the ear infections and with their removal the infections could clear up on their own. Why subject your child to unnesacery risks if you don't have to. There is a lot of proof out there that shows many chronic illnesses can be cause by the tonsils and adnoids. Please do some research and question the doctors decision. It's very easy for them to just jump right into sugery without really trying all other forms of treatment simply because it's "routine". What ever you choose to do, Good Luck and I hope your child gets better.

I am a STAH of 2 boys, 3 and 7 mos. When Jacob, our 3 year old, went o his 9 mos appt he had an ear infection and after 3 rounds of antibiotics we saw an ENT and had scheduled his surgery for tubes to be placed. Now he didn't have his tonsils and adnoids removed but the ear tubes was an easy surgery. The ear plugs were only difficult for the first month and aftewards he got used to them and he preferred having them in since it hurt when water got into his ear.
I would suggest using Mack's kids ear plugs or the generic kids ear plugs, we got them at Walgreens. They worked great and we didn't have to spend a ton on special ear plugs for the 2 years until the tubes fell out. The majority of the people I know with children with tubes did not get the special ear plugs made and none have had issues with the ones bought at the drug store.
Jacob also had a surgery to repair his kidney when he was 3 mos old and stayed a couple nights at Childrens. It was one of the most difficult and scary times because it is your child and you just want them to be okay, but looking back I'm thankful for family and friends and the support we got from hospital staff. They were great.

My SD had hearing loss due to fluid in her ears. She had her first set of tubes at 2. Her hearing is now normal and she is doing very well.

My son (2 years old) had his tonsils and adenoids removed this summer for the same reason. I was concerned with his speech as well, and since the surgery he has improved immensely! Get ready though, for the 2 week recovery, he was miserable--wouldn't even eat popsicles! Day 8 was the worst, but then improved greatly after that. Good luck!

M.,
Hi, I just responded earlier about my children NEVER having ear infections because we go to a chiropractor. My son is 10 years old and has went since he was a baby. The fluid builds up behind the glands in the ears and causes infection after infection because there is not proper drainage. When the chiropractor painlessly adjusts them the fluids then can drain properly. I have done extensive research on food allergies and tonsils to know that the tonsils are part of the immune system that children need. I would absolutely try a non-surgical approach before getting her tonsils out! My neice did that when she was 5 and didn't have a good experience. My sister then learned to take her other daughter to a chiropractor. It would be worth a try before having surgery that you can't take back. Hope this is helpful. God Bless!

i COMPLETELY understand how you feel. i went through this a year ago with my son (just tubes) but i hate even thinking about it. when your own child is involved, you worry like you would as if it were open-heart surgery!
what they do is schedule all the children who need that procedure on the same day, line them up, and like an assembly line just go through and quickly (seriously, 5 minutes)do the surgery on each one. the staff at children's is great. however...
i did NOT like the doctor who did my son's surgery. he was very impersonal and insincere, and didn't try to alleviate any of my worries. perhaps because he doesn't see it as a serious surgery and deals with fretful mothers daily.
anyway, after he finished the surgeries, we could hear him going door to door saying to all the parents as if reciting from a script: "he did great. there was a lot of fluid in there!"
really? because if he said "oh there wasn't much fluid in there at all!" we probably wouldn't be so glad to throw down thousands of dollars every time he said our children needed surgery!
anyway, an option the doctor failed to mention that i learned of later (and has proved quite successful) is chiropractic treatment. i don't know about the tonsil problem, but i know it can help with the ear problem.
good luck to you and your daughter. know that whatever you decide to do, she will come out fine and hear better!

I had both of my tonsils and adnoids out when I was a kid. The only reason I remember my parents telling me is that i breathed through my mouth a lot. I do remember having a lot of ear infections, but I still have them. After getting my tonslis out I remember being quite sore, but the ice cream and popcicles that no one else could eat, kisses from grandma, and stuffed animals helped a lot. Our neighbor's daughter had hers out too and she refused to take her pain medicine (liquid form) so it made it really bad. So I would suggest finding any way you could to get the pain meds in. Even put it in juice and freeze it with the pops. Also swallowing some Orajel (just a little on the tongue) will help numb it.

Needless to say, i still breathe through my mouth and I still get ear infections, so I am not sure why they took them out.

My brother got the tubes in his ears, and all i remember is that he cried ALL the time and they kept falling out.

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