Pre-School and Daycare

Anyone's preschooler have a tonsilectomy and adnoidectomy?

My son had both out yesterday morning and is pretty miserable. I know the typical foods and drinks and stay on the med schedule. Any tricks or tips that seemed to help your child?

Re: Anyone's preschooler have a tonsilectomy and adnoidectomy?

  • DD had her adenoids out in Feb and that recovery was a breeze.  I heard the worst is the tonsils, which she has to get out on Monday.  But I asked a bunch of people and did some google searches and talked to nurses, etc.  Here's the suggestions I culled from that:

    *  lots and lots of cold stuff -- consider getting some pedialyte and making homemade slushies and popsicles out of it.  The electrolytes will help the healing process.  Sorbet is a good choice -- peach, lemon, anything but red

    *  what you heard already likely, but avoid red stuff -- makes it hard to check for bleeding if his mouth is stained red already

    *  I'm going to try jello wigglers.  I am hoping that between the fun shape, cool nature and slippery texture, it might entice her eat them  (I got blue, green and orange)

    *  soy milk -- my niece liked drinking soy milk usually anyway so wasn't an issue.  DD happens to love "coffee drinks" which are my Starbucks grande single-shot decaf vanilla soy iced lattes so I'm going to make some at home with a dash of decaf coffee and torani syrup and vanilla soy milk and ice. 

    *  I read a blog of someone who had a 3YO son who had tonsils out and the kid only would eat Krispy Kreme donuts so that's what she fed him.  My niece liked cooled buttered egg noodles.  Whatever works.

    *  that same blog also said to keep ahead of the pain and even if your kid seems comfortable, give them the tylenol if it is time.  She also said she had to dose more like every 3.5 hrs or less and talked to the dr about it and he was fine.  So if you find tylenol is needed more often, talk to your dr.

    *  bribery.  That worked with my niece.  They kept little presents for her (coloring books, stickers, crayons, movies, books, etc.) that she got to open in the morning of each day during the roughest part (usually the first week) but before she got to open it, she had to have a popsicle and drink her medicine.  So since it hurts the most in the morning, that encouragement helped get her through the worst.  We've got some presents set aside for DD too.

    *  calendar -- I marked on a calendar with frowny faces how long she is likely to feel bad.  Then I marked with a straight-line face/frowny face on the days she may or may not be feeling okay and then a gradual smiley face appearing.  I figured we could cross off each day at the end of the day so she can see how she will gradually feel better and know it comes to an end.

    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

  • Thank you the ideas! I really appreciate the response.

    I told Jack I would make the jigglers tomorrow for him. I am having such a hard time getting him to drink anything other than water. I finally had to cut off the water so I can get some calories into him. Per the ENT's instructions. He surprised me tonight when he said he wanted some soup. He ate two bowls of soup. Jack's not a big sugar fan so I guess the thought of all that icecream/popsicles/jello and gatorade or apple juice just didn't sound all that good to him. I'm going to make him scrambled eggs in the morning. Then more soup for lunch. 

    Good luck next week. I hope your daughter does well. I am pretty sure everyone has sugar coated their experience because the surgical recovery was filled with little ones thrashing, screaming and crying. Jack's recovery is a very textbook recovery. I just hope this helps him to not be sick every few weeks.

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  • What great tips!  DS1 is scheduled to have his out on Tuesday...were either of your kids in the middle of potty training?  DS has about 50% dry days right now (diaper for nap/bedtime).  I'm guessing I'll keep him in a diaper as we're still fighting to get him to sit on the potty during the day...
  • Ooh that's a tough one. I would never suggest going backwards but with 50% success during the day, I'd keep him in diapers for at least the first few days. He's bound to be extremely cranky. My son is four so I don't have bathroom issues. Good luck on Tuesday!. Our days are getting better. He has a serious case of cabin fever so my husband took him to HD for a bit. He woke up wanting to eat food so that was good. He just didn't want to eat desert all day...very unlike me:)
  • imageAngMO:
    What great tips!  DS1 is scheduled to have his out on Tuesday...were either of your kids in the middle of potty training?  DS has about 50% dry days right now (diaper for nap/bedtime).  I'm guessing I'll keep him in a diaper as we're still fighting to get him to sit on the potty during the day...

    DD is PTed both day and night but I am still bringing pull-ups because I don't want to add more trauma if she can't make it with her IV and pain meds if the meds make her loopy at all.  I think they are sticking to tylenol so we shouldn't have that issue but I'm guessing given the pain, she'll try and hold it for as long as possible.  I figured I would just make her go to the bathroom every 2-3hrs anyway, even if she says she doesn't have to go. 

    And yeah, I remember from DD's adenoidectomy a kid across the way who got his tonsils out right after DD's surgery and woke up crying and disoriented.  I remember from that that crying makes it hurt more so I have warned DD that, although it will hurt a lot, to breath and squeeze my hand that crying will make it hurt more and we will get her some medicine and something really cold to help it feel better.  I'm sure she'll cry at first but I know that after prepping her like I have, it'll be easier to get her to calm down. 

    I'll add that recovery seems to vary considerably.  The girl in the book we got (Good-bye, Tonsils), written by a little girl who had hers out, appears to have had an unusually rapid recovery -- back in school in 4-5 days!  My niece was out a week (she was 5 or 6) and DD's preschool teacher said the kid who had hers out last year was out a week as well.  The blog re the 3YO boy was more like 2 weeks and the boy next door who was 3.5 at the time, who had tubes, adenoids and tonsils, was more like 18 days.  So prepare for the worst, hope for the best kind of thing.  Remember the scabs fall off the tonsils around day 4 post-op and that ratchets up the pain considerably for a few days.  GL!!

    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

  • I'd write a book too if my son was recovered and back in school four or five days later.

    The surgical center where we had our's done was filled with little ones all waking up from their tonsillectomies, adnoidectomies, tubes or a combo of all. The adnoidectomies seemed ok. The tonsillectomies were the worst. Then there were the combined like my son had. The constant was hearing every single one of the children freaking out, crying, screaming, and thrashing around. It's mainly their confusion over coming out of the anesthesia and being drugged combined with the pain. It was awful hearing all these little kids all going through the same thing my son was. I think hearing it all around is what made it so bad.

    The scabs slough off around day 5-10. Normally the just get swallowed. ick

    Day 3 or 4 tends to be awful for a couple days because the lidocaine or whatever it is the surgeon injects into the site at the end of surgery wears off. 

    We have put Jack back on a rigid tylenol with codeine schedule. The more you are on top of the pain management, the better for the kiddo. Jack's up playing fetch with the dog and walking around playing with his little brother right now. It will get bad again in about two hours. 

  • My son Cole had both out in October.  I am so glad we did it, yet glad recovery is over!!!  First of all, his breathing and response to colds is SO MUCH BETTER compared to last year.  I think you'll be happy with the results.

    Back to recovery...our biggest key was pain management and keeping him eating/drinking.  Our ENT told us to try to get him to eat/drink every hour (while awake) and told us to allow him anything to eat (except red sauce/acidic foods/drinks).  My son love popsicles and for the first few days, would eat 5 a day.  We also gave him yogurt shakes, milk shakes, ice cream, pudding, anything he would eat.  He did surprise us by eating normal dinner food a few nights as well.  We did give him the pain meds every 4 hours after being discharged and by day 4 we were able to start lengthening the intervals.  By day 10, he was back to normal and completely off the meds.

    Also, I'm not sure if you know this, but there is an alternative suppository available rather than giving the liquid codeine.  The liquid tasted horrible to my son and we quickly realized that the suppository seemed to be better controlling the pain.  Good luck. 

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