Tonsilectomy for 2 Year Old

Updated on March 04, 2008
E.W. asks from Tahlequah, OK
30 answers

My baby girl is having her tonsils & adenoids taken out in a few days and I am wondering if anyone has gone through this with a two year old before. Any suggestions as to how I can make her as comfortable as possible. My heart breaks at the thought of her crying with her throat hurting so bad, and she is horrible about taking medication when she doesn't feel good. They said they will put her on an antibiotic afterward, but I don't know how I will get it down her without forcing it. How long of a recovery am I looking at before she starts eating and feeling better? Thanks in advance for your thought....Scared Mom

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So What Happened?

I received so much wonderful thoughts and advice from so many of you. I now know to get lots of popsicles, have her pain meds and antibiotics given through her i.v before she leaves the hospital, keep her hydrated, and keep lots of tissue handy (for the momma's tears). So many of you had such different experiences I will just hope for the best but prepare for the worse. She got pnuemonia a few days ago so her pediatrician post-poned her surgery until after she completly heals from that. Thank you all so much for your caring thought, great ideas, and most of all your prayers. I will let you know how it turned out once we finally get the surgery done. God Bless!!

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M.G.

answers from Peoria on

Hi E......
I ,also, have a 15 year old....and a 17 month old. Dont know what I was thinking either but also wouldnt change a thing! ( both boys here).....My 15 yr old had his tonsils out and if I remember correctly.....it didnt phase him as much as I thought it would. I remember him being rather laid back and not very fussy about it. I thought it would be much worse as he does not have a high pain tolerance( at least he didnt back then). I had mine out at 21 yrs old and thought I was dying. They say kids come through it so much better. I think my son was back to himself in like 3 days...eating etc. I do remember that he had to drink so much fluid before they would let us leave the hospital and he would not drink it.......he didnt cry or fuss or anything but he did not want to drink the liquid. I am hoping that she is kept comfortable and wish you the best with it. Luckily you know that it will indeed pass and heal and she will be better for having it done. Best of Luck,
M.

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S.D.

answers from Springfield on

My daughter had her tonsils out at age 5. We had it done on a Friday and by Monday she was well enough to go to school. She was eating regular food the night after it was done. It was not as painful as I thought it would be for her.

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A.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi! My son hates taking medicine so I always have it flavored at Walgreens. Everytime I have gotten it flavored he has no problem with it. His favorite flavor is grape bubblegum! Hope this helps!

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T.S.

answers from Topeka on

My son who is 3 had his tonsils out last Thursday the 22 of Feb so it is very fresh for me. I have been giving him his narcotic pain meds every 4 hrs. And sometimes I get up in the night and give it to him. He woke up at 3 am screaming so I learned my lesson. About day 4 I started giving him just Tylenol but right now he is getting rid of the scabs so back onto the narcotic. I have been giving him popsicles alot and that has really helped. Applesauce, spaghettios, jello, pudding, anything soft is good for them to eat. Drink is VERY important because you don't want her to get dehydrated. I bought a cool cup and my son likes to drink out of it so that might help you too. Just don't give her anything citrus cause that will burn. My son's favorite has been apple juice. Lots of hugs and kisses help too. Good Luck!!!!

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M.R.

answers from Tulsa on

E.,

My daughter had her tonsils & adenoids out when she was 4 and it was horrible!! They did it as an outpatient procedure(which is normal) but after we got her home and her pain meds wore off, it was all downhill, they dont really prepare you for how awful it is going to be. She was down for about 7-10 days, total. She wouldnt take her medicine, wouldnt drink, eat, anything at all, So she ended up dehydrated and back in the ER for IV fluids. Then she was sooo swollen in her throat they had to put her on steroids to take down the swelling, which made her crazy hyper and to top it off still in a crazy amount of pain!! My only advice to you is to be prepared for the worse case scenario once you get her home and maybe it will be better. I would definitely try to get the shot of antibiotics before you leave the hospital, and make sure they give you the strongest pain meds they can, just in case!! Good luck!!

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L.E.

answers from Springfield on

E.,
My son has had 14 surgeries, and let me tell non of it is easy but, You have a lot of answers on here for food, and when she will heal from this, one way to get her meds, that works, is put them in a sippy cup with her fav. drink, that seems to help out a lot, they usually cant taste it, and dont even know they are taking medication. I wish you all the luck in the world, because I know this can be a struggle.

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C.B.

answers from Kansas City on

My daughter just turned two when she had hers out. It broke my heart because she was very out of it when she woke up and cried. When she got back to her foster home (we were still doing visits during this time, but I was able to be there for this) I sat on the couch with her and she vomited blood. She was so tired, she didn't even notice. It's normal because of the blood they swallow during surgery. After a few hours, she was up and walking around, talking very squeeky and hoarse. When it was time to eat, she was sad she couldn't eat what everyone else had. She kept pointing to her throat saying "owie, owie" There were a few tears on the first day but every day got so much better. After about a week and a half, I felt comfortable enough to give her semi solid food. I was paranoid something would hurt her. I was probably way on the safe side, but I didn't want to be responsible for hurting her more than she was even though she was probably fine at that point. Also, make sure she's always laying on something washable just in case she does get sick. I feel for you, I know it's just as hard on the mom as it is the kiddo!

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C.A.

answers from Lawton on

My son was just over 3 when he had his out. I remember the one thing the ENT stressed to me was fluids, fluids, fluids. He said that even if he did not eat anything for as long as a week he had to drink. The first few days when I could not get him to drink from a cup because it hurt I used a medicine dropper to force liquids down him. I would give him a few dropper fulls every hour or two. After about a week he was basically eating & drinking normally.

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J.M.

answers from Kansas City on

My daughter had her's out when she was 19 months old. She woke up really groggy but was up reading and snuggling soon after. We started giving her jello, juice, pudding (they will give you a list of foods to give her). She seemed to be doing really well, until her pain meds wore off and the nurse forgot to give them to her right away. We fought getting her to take that but once we got it down and started giving the meds to her on a regular interval, she was back to her old self that night!! I was really surprised. I think the most problem that my daughter had was about 3 days later (3 to 7) when her stitches or incisions started to heal. She was crabby and would cry off and on and wouldn't eat very much.
My advice would be to be consistent with their pain medication right away and maintain it for as long as the dr says or even longer. They gave my daughter tylenol with codeine, which seemed to burn her throat a little, when it was healing and didn't taste very well, but it seemedto help more so then the regular tylenol.
Good Luck.

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S.E.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi Hun, Yes it's difficult to listen to them cry, when they are hurting. But I promise it won't last long. My son went through the very same thing when he was, but had the tubes put it, adenoids and tonsils out. Just focus on getting your angel better, and have lots of popcicles around. The cold is good for the pain. It took my son about 3 to 5 days, before he was ready to eat real food. But recovery is different for every child. I wish you all the best and I pray that things go smoothly for you all. God bless you and big hugs, S.

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B.O.

answers from St. Louis on

One word, POPCICLES! You can put her medicine on it or you can do sherbert. I would stay away from ice cream because it tends to be too hard for their swolen throat. Sherbert is much softer and has a more silky consistancy. As for the medicine. I would make her a smoothy using the sherbert and put it in there. Make hera big blender full of it, then put the medicine in it in a little cup. Tell her to try it first to make sure she likes it. My best suggestion would be the swirl, unless she has a favorite. I would also take her to pick it out. Good luck to you! One thing we did when we had to take our daughter to the hospital, we took her to Toys'R'us right before for her to pick out a brand new toy. It made her feel special and she wasn't as worried about what was going to happen at the hospital. let us know how it goes! =)

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J.H.

answers from St. Louis on

My son had surgery to repair his cleft lip when he was 8 weeks old. Obviously he wasn't old enough to know what was going on, but after the surgery they kept him on soem pretty good painkillers, I'd imagine they will do the same for your daughter. My son is almost one now and my experience has been that things hurt us more than they do them, mostly b/c we KNOW things. I'm not sure if this helped at all since the surgeries andage difference were so different, but my heart goes out to you for having to turn your child over for surgery, that isn't an easy thing to do, but you will both be fine once its over.

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T.L.

answers from Peoria on

Hello! My son was 5 years when he had his taken out. I think it is difficult for a kid at any age. However, it seemed harder on me than on him. Before he went in we praised him for being brave and said that he was very special for "getting" to have the surgery! And we joked around alot just before him going into surgery. He definately was scared when he came out of surgery and just wanted to be reassured that he would be OKAY. He did not want the bragged about ice cream at all but he did eat alot of icee pops and crushed ice like snow cone style. He got a stuffed dog and presents when he came out of surgery for being brave which helped keep his mind off of the situation just a bit. And he wanted to be held alot when we brought him home. He also needed to be told that he would start talking normally soon. That really frustrated him that he was not able to talk right for about 2 days. As far as the medicine, you could try putting the medicine in a small amount of favorite drink so she doesn't notice as much. My son had trouble with the taste of medicines too and the pharmacist suggested putting the medicine in a small amount of chocolate milk stating that the chocolate taste takes away the bitterness of medicines. The hardest thing to deal with my son was what to feed him after the surgery. You might try soft foods like crushed up cooked carrots, mashed potatoes, and pureed applesauce. Or different kinds of step baby foods if there is any trouble with eating. My son just really needed to know ALOT that he would be OK and would get better soon. AND HE HAS RECOVERED JUST FINE. HE ALSO DOES NOT SNORE AND SLEEPS MUCH BETTER AT NIGHT AND HAS VERY FEW TIMES HAD EAR INFECTIONS AND BEEN SICK. So the surgery is a definate plus. He says he doesn't remember much about it these days. So your daughter being two years old is a good thing. As a MOM, I cried for my child and felt 100% worse about his condition and only wished I could take the pain away. Good luck with your daughter! SHE WILL BE OKAY! You will be in my thoughts this week! ~T.

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M.C.

answers from Kansas City on

I personally have not been through it, but I am a nurse and I have taken care of many kiddos having this done. Your #1 priority is to keep her hydrated. It does not matter if she won't eat, but she has to drink, preferrably cold fluids. The fluids obviously keep her hydrated, but the cold on her throat helps sooth the sore throat. I've seen Mom's back down from pushing the fluids, because their kids don't want to drink, and they end up getting admitted for dehydration. Also, I would give her pain meds regularly for the first 24-48hrs on schedule with what the Dr writes. When she wakes up in the night, make sure she drinks then too. The worst pain is usually when they first wake up because their throats gets dry when they sleep. Make sure she takes it easy, as much as possible with a toddler. Tonsils can rebleed up to 14 days after the surgery (not to scare you), if she does rebleed you'll know, the stomach does not tolerate blood and she will most likely vomit, or be spitting blood. It's okay, call your Dr and get her to an ER if that happens. Kids are so resiliant, she will be fine and it will all be a distant memory soon. Good luck!!

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S.D.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi E.,

My daughter had hers out at age 3 and my nephew at age 2. It was a very difficult time for both of them and us. My nephew actually got to stay overnight at childrens mercy south where the surgery was done. His ENT said that an overnight stay is pretty much standard for a child under age 3. They were able to help keep the pain down via the IV and he got the first few doses of antiboitics that way too. The first couple of days were still rough for him though.
My daughter did go home a few hours after surgery with oral antibiotics and pain meds. BUT........she refused to take the medicine since it tasted so horrible and she gagged the first time taking it and that of course created horrible pain for her. SO, from then on she refused. Without the pain meds, her pain got out of control and she refused to eat or drink ANYTHING. She ended up back in the hopital for almost a week on IV fluids, pain meds and the antibiotics. She is now 6 and remembers nothing of it...thank goodness for small favors....I though, remember it all.
Just make sure you go home with good post-op instructions. Don't let her dehydrate. Slushies work well. NO dairy, it thickens the mucas and makes it harder to swallow.
Drink, Drink, Drink...if you can keep her throat moist it helps with the pain. Stay on top of the pain meds. Morning is the worst because her throat will be dry. If you can get her up at night to give her fluid it will help.
You will all make it through. It will be hard, it's not a fun surgery. I wouldn't have not done the surgery because she sleeps a million times better and is a better eater now. Her sleep apnea totally went away.
Good luck and please email with any questions.
S.

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S.O.

answers from Kansas City on

E.,
boy can I relate to giving a 2 yr old meds being a struggle! I have one that will be 3 the end of april and has fought meds for most of the past year. We have tried every thing...really! The one suggestion I have is to ask the Dr's to give her a shot of the antibiotic while she is still under. That in my opinion would help you and her out the best. No struggles or stress to either of you.
Lots of popsicles too!
Hugs to both of you throught this ordeal!
S.

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B.A.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi, I had a young one that had this surgery too. I would keep some popsicles handy. There are pedialyte ones too, especially good if she isn't eating. As far as medicine goes, you could put it in a tbsp of apple sauce or a tbsp of a juice. That is what I did and I hope it helps!!!!

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B.C.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,

I have 3 children who all had there tonsils and adenoids removed within 2 weeks of each other. I think each case is so unique...each of my children had a different expirence and it is hard to go through but just remember the end result is definately worth it....lots of popsicles, if she takes a binky let her have it it helps them to swallow more. My children have been more healthy since their surgery. It will be a few days maybe a week before they feel better. Good luck!
B.

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N.M.

answers from St. Louis on

i had mine out when i turned 2 and i couldnt go home because i kept bleeding so i stayed two nights at the hospital and i remember having a very bad expierence with choc. pudding to this day i will not eat choc pudding i guess there are certain things you remember but my mom said i did much better after the surgury i snored very loudly and now i still do hope everything goes well and you are in my prayers

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S.P.

answers from Kansas City on

I am new here and your message was the first to pop up and reminded me of my daughter when she was only 3. She had her tonsils and adenoids taken out. I was prepared for days of crying and doing whatever possible to make her comfortable. That very evening she was sitting around playing. She did cry some when she was starting to feel uncomfortable but within a couple days it was as if she had never had it done. We still had to watch what she ate for a little while but, she was amazing. I just had my tonsils out at 29 and I think I whinned about it for a couple weeks. =) Children heal much faster they say. Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Decatur on

Hi, I am a Pediatric RN. I have seen all ages in the hospital right after surgery. Many, the largest percentage do very, very well. Be sure to have a prescription for a Tylenol with Codeine (IF you even need it). Teach her before surgery that medicine (regular Tylenol liquid) is NOT a negotiable. I dont normally condone giving unnecessary meds, but you might have to if you need to get the point made. In the hospital right after surgery they usually start them drinking liquids right after post-op. They start out slow with cold juices, sodas and popsicles that arent red. Then, they progress to soup, unsalted crackers and the like. Many MD's wont keep a little one overnight- many go home that afternoon. Yes, this is okay. I recommened getting a cool mist vaporizer (yes it is different from a humidifier- puts out much more mist, you can feel the obvious difference on your hand when you lay your hand on top of the output). They are about $20 at walmart. The steam ones work, too, but they are so dangerous and so hard to use, the cool mist, you just add water and plug it in, and if it should be spilled, it's not hot, just room temp water. TYlenol every 4 hours (ask your MD what dose you can give for a total of 6 doses in 24 hours). Drinking lots- wake her up that first night for drinks of popsicle slushies (popsicle smushed up with some 7up or sprite), ice water, cold juices like apple or white grape, etc. Make her drink every time you look at her. She will do better if she is at home, with familiar people, things, and will probably be playing before she leaves the hospital. If she isnt much into eating, dont sweat it. Yogurt, shakes, ice cream will keep her alive a couple of days if she just doesnt feel like eating anything else! :-) Remember, she will get plenty of fluids in surgery so she will be okay. Just watch her at home for any bleeding (some kids will get sick and throw up some blood right after surgery, but FEW do this after they get home). The hospital should give her something for nausea after surgery and will make sure she is drinking before she goes home. You will be suprised how quickly she will recover. If you act as if it is all common procedure and not a negotiation, you will do better, to. Don't ask, do you want a drink, ask, would like like some blue slushie, a popsicle or some jucie? THat gives her choices and doesnt give her the choice of nothing, see what i mean? And, as far as Tylenol, ask her "would you like to take your medicine with some sprite or with juice", NEVER ask "do you want to take your medicine now, it really doesnt taste that bad"..Too many times mom's are trying so hard to be nice and they forget that drinking and tylenol are things that their child really isnt old enough to understand they need to do after surgery. So, just think about the look on your face when you give Tylenol if she is not a good medicine taster, ask for flavoring of her liking for her antibiotic and dont make the "ugh, i know it tastes bad" face, and you will do fine! It wont take long and she will be doing all her normal things, a day or so of sort of quiet is normal. THen, look out! Have fun!

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H.T.

answers from Kansas City on

I had mine out when I was 5 and the antibiotics they gave me were the yummy bubble gum flavored liquid form and it hurt a little to swallow but not that bad plus all the ice cream you get to eat helps a lot! LOL!!

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L.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,
Hello, my son had is tonsils and adnoids removed when he was 2 1/2. I was very nervous too.

My little boy was amazing. The surgeon recommended giving him anything that he asked for to eat, and he would determine what hurt his throat. Logan turned down the popsicles that we had, so my husband ran to the store, while there, my son asked for a PBJ sandwich, I gave it to him and he ate half of it.

The next day, he was awesome and we actually went to the Shriner's Circus and he rode an elephant.

Children are amazing with recovery.

As far as medicine, my pharmacy, CVS offers flavoring for medications. I would look into that.

If you have any questions or comments, send me an e-mail: [email protected]____.com

Good Luck

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E.Y.

answers from Topeka on

I was 3 when I had mine taken out. I do not remember any of it, except the story the doctor told me while he was anesthesizing me. My mom says she gave me a lot of popsicles and jello to eat. It cools and soothes the throat. I took some sort of penicillin that tasted like bubble gum so taking medecine wasn't a probelm. You might want to see if that is an option for you. Or if your daughter uses a pacifier, they have ones that you can use to give kids medecine (one of the best gifts I received even though I haven't used it yet). As far as recovery is concerned, I think it varies from child to child. I heal pretty fast. My mom said I was eating cheese and crackers a little over a week later. I wouldn't expect this from your child... I probably took the crackers while she wasn't looking. LOL! I'm probably not being much help since I don't remember much.
Oh! Maybe ask your doctor if your child can use throat coat. It's a tea that comes in lemon-honey or apple-cinnamon flavor. You can find it at a health food store or in your health food section of your local grocery store (I found mine at Dillon's).

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K.A.

answers from Kansas City on

I'd say stock up in icecream and yummy cold treats. As for the medicine maybe see if they will give you chewables instead of liquid. My son has suffered from migraine symptoms sicne he was about 6-9 months old and the doctors gave us chewable medicine once he was old enough to chew stuff well, he too wouldn't take medicine, with the chewables he felt like a "big boy" and as far as she knows it's a "vitiman", I think that's what we told him or that it was candy.

Good luck...what about going to Build a Bear and making her a special friend to have with her at the hospital..ifyou're having the procedure done at Children's Mercy they are awesome..with the migraines my son was in here a lot.

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R.C.

answers from Wichita on

E.,
When my daughter was 3 she had her tonsils out. They were so good with her. She did not cry She seemed to feel better right away. Our biggest struggle was trying to keep her from running around. We made it like a prize or reward game. Talked about it before with her and made sure she knew she would get lots of icecream. She was so hungry on the way home we stopped at kfc and bought mashed potatoes with gravy(her fav). I think that our reaction as a positive experience took the fear out of it for her and us. good luck I hope you have a good experience also.

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V.J.

answers from Joplin on

My 11 year old had her tonsils taken out a few days before christmas and she was talking and eating and in good spirts the same day. YOu couldn't even tell she had it done with the way she was acting. Then closer to your little ones age, my now 2 year old when he was 1, he had mutiple operations (all major) and he was the same way she was. You could tell that he didn't feel well that first few hours afterward but as the day went he on he was acting more and more like his normal self. He was weaker then normal, but doing very well. The doctors told me that children bouce back at rapid rates much faster then adults do and I have learned this first hand. I think your little girl will surpise you in a good way. If you keep having trouble giving her meds then here is a treat my doctor showed me. Get some cherry surup the kind that you put in drinks or on ice cream and mix her meds in it. 1/4 med 3/4 surup. Worked every time for me. It turned med time into candy time. Good Luck!!

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S.D.

answers from St. Joseph on

I had mine taken out when I was 3yrs old. I can tell you that I remember a lot of it because it was such a strange experience to me. That was also back when they used a scalpel to get them out. But the good news is that while I do remember that my throat was sore butI got to have all the ice cream and popcicles I could get. Kinda made it all worth it. Kids are way more resilient than adults. So make her feel like a princess propped up on her throne and make sure you have lots of frozen treats. You should both get through it fine. I hope that helps.

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T.L.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't know much about how to make the recovery better. My siblings had their tonsils out decades ago and all I remember is that the got to eat a lot of popsicles and ice cream (I remember because I was jealous). But I will be praying for your little girl and for you, for a great procedure and a speedy recovery.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I had mine taken out when I was 3 or 4. Lotsa popsicles and ice cream !!! I was in alot of pain (I remember it), but I remember I loved having popsicles all the time lol. Hopefully, like the other person said they can give her an anitbiotic shot. The antibiotic being liquid will be alot easier at least. Popsicles help! lol.

My boyfriend is also fixing to go through this same thing with his son who is 2... hes worried about it.

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