Need Othr Moms Experience with Childs Tonsilectomy

Updated on August 17, 2008
C.F. asks from El Paso, TX
18 answers

My 6 year old son had his tonsils and adenoids removed and had tubes put in his ears a week ago today (Friday) He doesnt seem to be recovering very well. He still crys constantly all day and all night. He just seems to have become depressed or something. He says he wishes he didnt have his tonsils removed. He doesnt really complain about being in pain just that he is tired and that his neck hurts. We were told that his neck would hurt do the adenoids being removed. I just dont know what to do for him. I also have a 6 month old baby girl so it is hard for me to pay complete attention to him. He is due to start school in a week and I am concerned that he will not be well enough by then (although we were told that he will be fine by then). Any suggestions on what I could do to try and comfort him and have him relax.

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M.H.

answers from Houston on

I can remember having my tonsils out a 4 years old and had lots of ice cream and jello. My cousin had his out at the same age and his first meal was a hamburger. We didn't have pain like you are describing. Also sounds like he feels he needs more attention than you have time to give to him. Invite one of his friends over for some play time and see if that will help him.

By the way, I will be 70 on Tuesday, my how time has changed for this type of surgery. Back then it was considered minor and done in the doctor's office with ether.

Marie

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J.W.

answers from Houston on

Dear C.
Children mostly do suffer stress symptoms during and after hospitalisation and/or surgery.
I found the following web-link for you...

Is elective surgery traumatic for children and their parents?
A. Post traumatic stress disorder and family functioning in adolescent. cancer. J. Trauma. ... symptoms in children after tonsillectomy. Int. J. Pediatr. ...
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1440-1... - Similar pages
by G Ben-Amitay - 2006 - Related articles - All 4 versions

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J.L.

answers from Austin on

Hi C.,
When my son was 5 he had his tonsils and adenoids removed and I remember feeling as desperate as you do.
Here's a few things that helped my son get through TWO weeks of discomfort.
If he has been given a prescription for pain, make sure he gets it regularly. Even ibuprofen helps a lot!
Try to have him drink only WARM liquids. Cold makes your throat constrict and is painful.
Give him only soft foods to eat..ie..mashed potatoes, applesauce, soft cooked carrots, malt-o-meal, jello, puddings,
soft cooked rice, etc...
He probably still has large scabs on the back of his throat where his tonsils were. Those scabs HURT until he has completely healed and they fall off on their own. He will probably cough them up when they come loose. Once the scabs fall off you'll see a huge improvement in the way he feels. Imagine trying to swallow with 4 scabs on your throat. It's awful!
Give him lots of hugs and kisses and continue to assure him that in a few days all will be better. When the baby is sleeping pull him up in your lap and rock him or just hold him. Give him gentle back rubs, anything that soothes and comforts him. The surgery he had was HUGE for him. He just needs his parents to understand how awful this has been for him, but the reassurance that things will get better soon.
When we went through this my son had just been diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. Talk about being a nervous Momma! He wouldn't eat, but still needed his insulin. It was 2 weeks I'll never forget. The things I mentioned above helped us get through 2 weeks of misery.
If these things don't help, please call his ENT surgeon, and talk directly to the "DOCTOR".
I wish your son the very best!!
J. in Austin

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J.S.

answers from San Antonio on

My 6 year old had her tonsils taken out in March. She started refusing her pain meds after the first day. I went with it but then she was a lot more whiney and cranky so even though she said she wasn't in pain I made her take the medicine and she was so much better. Her turn around came right around one week. The other thing too was that she was so hungry and didn't want any of the soft foods we would make for her. Finally the only thing she would drink was Pediasure. Once she got the vitamins and calories in her she did so much better. she just needed some more nutrition to help heal. Best of luck, it will get better.

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T.E.

answers from Houston on

first of all NO ICE CREAM!

The milk in ice cream (and some popsicles ) willmake his mucous secretions that he has in his mouth andthroat hurt worse and make it harder for him to swallow.(i made that mistake w/ my daughter)
Also for the pain, we had a RX for tylenol w/codeine for her )she was 4 when she had them done)
Talk to your Dr and get him some meds.
Good luck

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R.L.

answers from Houston on

Lots of ice cream, popsicles etc! You may want to try a cool compress on the outside of his neck, it may help any inflamation. Also ask your pediatrician about pain meds, or if he can take tylenol.

Poor baby! The good news is that it won't last for that much longer. I'm sure he will be better before school start, but if not make an appt with his doctor just in case!

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B.V.

answers from Killeen on

My niece just had her tonsils removed. It was very hard for her. It took about two weeks to recover. She also said she wished she would not have done it during that time frame. After about two weeks and the scabs fell off she was better. It was like one day she was miserable next she was better. I would give him a couple days then talk with the doctor.

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A.W.

answers from Austin on

C.~

My daughter had her tonsils and adenoids out last summer at age 3. She also cried severely and woke in the night a lot for about 2 weeks. I was so worried, she seemed worse after the surgery than she had before... but then it was like a switch turned and she was SO much better.
Just try the best you are able to get your son to communicate the pains and help sooth those. I believe it just takes those tender throats time to heal and they have to take it easy.
Best of luck!

A.

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T.H.

answers from San Antonio on

Kids usually heal very well. However, never take a childs complaint as anthing but serious. Have you given him something for pain. check with your doctor on dosage -- Children Motrin will help with muscle pain and with surgery pain. Then use the easy comfort measures, warm compress, favorite movie, extra fruit snacks(soft gummies), have him make out his back to school list, pack his back pack,and tell him he will feel better but you will do everything you can to make the pain go away. If every thing fails, take him back to the doctor to see if he has something else going wrong.
I also recommend no milk or milk products, get popsicles, chicken broth, pediasure,pedialyte. Hang in there, the end is in sight.
Good Luck
Grandmother T., RN

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M.T.

answers from Austin on

my son had his adnoids and tonsils removed and we made sure for the first week or so that we gave him pain meds because their neck will hurt from the adnoids being removed and little by little we decreased the dose after the first week..the antibiotics they gave him should also start helping him feel better we gave lots of popsicles and soft fruits and things like that and it seemed to help

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C.L.

answers from Sherman on

My daughter had her adnoids and tonsils removed when she was 2 and she hurt for AT LEAST 2 weeks. The recovery time is this and BE SURE you are giving him the strong pain meds that the doctor should've prescribed for him for 2 weeks. Give it to him every 4 hours like it says and no later. There are also some numbing suckers that you can get for any additional pain. It takes a while to get back to yourself after this and my daughter didn't have ear tubes - so I"m sure all THREE is not fun and quite painful!! Try to sympathize and don't push him to play or go to too many places..stay home and rest!! Be sure to tell his teachers about this too so they will understand any unusual behavior when he starts school..good luck!

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D.H.

answers from Killeen on

Hi C.,
One of the lessons I've learned in 30yrs in healthcare, is that everyone has their own pathway to health & recovery after surgery . We tend to think children should bounce back so quickly. The postural position of his neck may have been in a strain during surgery, or he may need to be supplied simple but necessary nutrients to completely relax those neck muscles and allow deep restorative sleep, so necessary for healing. I'm retired but would be happy to visit with you via phone to help you find what you need. You may contact me at [email protected]____.com.
About me: Mother of 5, Grandma of 12, retired Chiropractor/Naturopath/Clinical Nutritionist,

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D.A.

answers from Houston on

My 6 year old son just had his post-op appointment last week for the same surgery. The doctor had kept him in the hospital overnight and due to pain during the night switched him from Tylenol w/Codiene to Lortab which tasted awful. We gave it to him around the clock for a full week, as instructed by the doctor. Then we tapered it off over the next few days, continuing to give it at bedtime for about another week. His doctor had told us to keep his activity minimal during the first week, explaining that his body needed rest in order to heal more quickly.
His throat did still hurt but we found lots of popsicles were soothing. A warm bath with lots of bubbles and a new boat that squirts water was comforting. His favorite food during that time was "Andrew's soup"--I just let him choose a pasta and 2 vegetables (which I cut up very tiny) and heated it in a large can of chicken broth. The doctor just told us that his throat is 70% healed, and should be at 100% 4 weeks after surgery which happens to be the day that school starts. Your son may want to start school with soft foods to avoid irritation--pudding cups, jello cups, Gogurt, soup, mac n cheese, a favorite drink, send money for him to buy ice cream, etc. I suggest giving him over the counter children's Tylenol when his neck does seem to actually be hurting. As mentioned previously, my son also tries the sudden "my neck hurts" if told to do his chores but I can tell if it really hurts (usually after eating).

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K.T.

answers from Houston on

Ok, I know most are saying 2 wks recovery. We just had my son's removed in June. He was 7 (almost 8). Day 10 was the magic day. After 7 days of crying in the middle of the night and miserable during the day, I called the office. The doctor said wait until day 10 - she was right. Days 7, 8, and 9 were bad. As she said they would be - we were up in the middle of the night for tylenol with codeine to help him sleep (not his choice of taste, but I gave him the choice, hurt or medicine - no forcing - he opted for the med's followed by a swallow of Sprite). Seemed to get worse just before it got better. Mine did the same thing- he kept telling me that he changed his mind, he didn't want them out anymore:)
Hope this gives you some home. I'll bet he'll be fine. Just hang in there until day 10.
Oh, he wasn't all the way back to normal for 3 weeks or so, a little less active, (probably no-one but me noticed)
K.

R.W.

answers from San Antonio on

We have been through the same thing with our son. He had the same thing done to him. It takes a good 3-4 weeks to fully recover. The frist week is always the hardest.

Our son was prescribed Hydrocodone. We gave it to him every 6 hours as needed for pain. We slowly weened him away from it, and started giving him chipped ice.

Good Luck, and if you still have any questions, notify your child's ENT.

Rosie

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A.S.

answers from Houston on

Hi, I'm so sorry you are dealing with this, because it's horrible when your children are miserable and there's not a lot you can do wait for some time to pass. I would just like to add that even tho he is denying pain, you might want to give him something for pain every now and then anyway. I know when I had surgery, even a week or two later, I would just feel lousy, take a lortab, and then feel a lot better. It was like there was a low grade pain level that I didn't consider "pain" that was just making me miserable. Hope that helps!

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T.M.

answers from Austin on

I am an RN that use to work in a day surgery center that did children's tonsilectomys quite often. This is a big surgery for a 6 year old and having the tonsils out is very painful, not so much for the adenoids or tubes. Recovering from anesthesia alone takes some longer that others to get back to normal and the neck pain could be a combo of the surgery and the way he was positioned in surgery. If he still has pain meds to take at night that would be beneficial or just regular Tylenol, when he is uncomfortable. Popsicles or other cold treats just to soothe may help and making him aware that this was a big surgery for him and it will take some time to recover, but he will get better. He should be better at least by two weeks and if you are still concerned be sure to contact his doc, make sure he does not have any fever that could indicate a possible infection. Good luck and hope your little man feels better.

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K.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi C.-

My son had his tonsils and adenoids removed in May and the first week was really hard. He pretty much stayed in bed all day and was either asleep or if he was awake he was complaining about it hurting. The only thing you can do is make sure he's taking his medicine, drinking fluids and eating a lot of popsicles.

Still to this day, when my son doesn't want to do something he will use the excuse that his throat hurts to try to get out of it. I attribute this to the amount of babying I did to him right after the surgery. I don't regret doing it since I know that he was in a lot of pain, but just be aware that because of the added attention he's getting (especially with a younger sibling pulling you away from him) he may hold on to this a little longer than he needs to just to continue the attention from you.

As far as suggestions go, my son liked to take baths to make him feel better. I also bought him some new colored pencils and a lap desk so that he could draw while in bed.

Once you have your follow up visit with the doctor and they confirm that he is healing just fine, if your son still seems to be "moping around" maybe plan a little something special to get him out of the house and tell him that when he thinks he's feeling better you will take him to ________. This should motivate him to feel better soon!

Good luck,
K.

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