ENT specialists commonly see children for issues regarding their throat or tonsils. Often if a child’s tonsils are chronically infected, a tonsillectomy would be recommended. In addition, many children will require the removal of the adenoids – which improves breathing through the nose. In these instances, where the tonsils and adenoids are removed in one procedure, the surgery will be called an adenotonsillectomy.
For parents preparing for your child’s surgery, it is helpful to understand the process, then explain to your child what will be happening.
How to prepare your child for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy
How do you your child that they are going to undergo a routine procedure. First of all, take a deep breath. Your child will be just fine. Remember that this is in fact a routine procedure, that is performed by experienced and capable ear nose and throat surgeons. Staying calm and mentally preparing for the situation will in turn keep your child calm.
Read everything you can about other parents’ experiences with their children.
Make a list of all of the soft foods you’ll need to have around after the surgery.
Talk to your paediatrician about your child’s pain management, importantly, know when and how to administer pain medication.
Remember that you will be required to keep a close watch on your child’s hydration and food intake. They may be feeling sore and may not want to swallow, but it is important to ensure they are receiving adequate fluid intake in order to recover as best as possible.
You should also make sure that you know the expected recovery time. Recovery length can vary from 7-14 days and will depend on the age of the child.
Tell Them What to Expect in Kid Terms
You know that your child needs this procedure to feel better. Whether your son or daughter has had sleep apnoea, ear infections, chronic sore throat, or some combination of these ailments. Your ENT surgeon would only advise on the surgery if it were deemed necessary and medical management has not been effective. It is important to ensure your child understands the procedure and understand they may feel a little under the weather after surgery. Try to keep them calm and explain the procedure in a manner that is most suitable for their age. For example, “Once the doctor has fixed up your throat it won’t be sore anymore. You will feel a lot better, and you’ll be able to go play a lot more.”
Focus On the Positive
Let them know that their special doctor is going to take good care of them. Tell them that they will be asleep for the whole operation, and they will not feel anything during that time. It is important not to lie to them about their recovery, tell them that it will be painful. However, putting a light spin on the negatives will help them feel more at ease and maybe even excited! Tell them they can eat all of the ice cream and jelly they want for a whole week!
Remember, above all else, to stay positive for your child. If you can keep a gentle smile on your face, you will put their mind at ease, which will help their recovery. If you have any concerns before or after surgery, don’t hesitate to talk to your paediatrician or surgeon about them. If you have questions about tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in children, contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see an ear nose and throat surgeon.