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    Old 03-16-2009, 07:27 AM   #1
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    tonsillectomy 11 yr old

    My 11 yr old needs a tonsillectomy, they gave me the option of scheduling now or waiting until summer. He wants it now he is tired of hurting. So my question is, What is the actual recovery time they said he would miss about 5 days of school. How long will it take for him to be back to normal were he can play baseball and compete in all his uil academic meets. He does not want to miss any of those but wants them out now. The tonsils are filled with pits and pockets, one is huge the other is just larger than normal. Trying to decide when it is best to do it. Will he have the bad taste I have read about? Any advice on how to make it a better less painful experience? Yes I know it is going to hurt.

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    Old 03-16-2009, 01:34 PM   #2
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    Re: tonsillectomy 11 yr old

    Hi Croppingmom~

    My 6-year old had his tonsillectomy on February 9th so I hope my sharing his experience will be helpful to you.

    Our ENT was very clear that my son's recovery would require him to miss a week of school, perhaps a couple days more should he experience any unforseen issues (i.e. bleeding). So, I scheduled his tonsillectomy one week prior to his mid-winter break, that way he would have to miss one week of school, but would also have the following week of vacation to rest up as well. I am REALLY glad I factored in this extra week because he truly needed the extra down time to regain his energy after a week of "liquid only" diet. I also waited one additional week before I let him return to his swimming lessons, which again, I am glad I did given how it took a while for his return to regular food to improve his energy.

    Our ENT was emphatic about liquids only for the first seven days. (This is a noted departure from other ENT's who encourage eating soft solids as soon as possible). Our ENT's logic for this strict guidleline is that it is important to keep the scabs in tact for as long as possible to prevent bleeding and reduce the trauma to the healing area. He strongly beleives it is critical to avoid any possibility of tearing the scabs, etc. before they "fall off" (which typically happens between days 5 & 7).

    So, though it was different from others' suggestions and it was tough on my heart-strings to refrain from feeding him solids, I followed my ENT's advice. I am SO GLAD that I did! My son's scabs slowly diminished instead of "falling off", which I think made it a less painful recovery.

    I made sure my son drank tons of "Ensure" and got really creative in making different kinds of smoothies with it. I also gave him as many popcicles as he could stand, chicken broth w/out noodles (tepid temperature), WATER WATER WATER, pedialyte, & sherbert. Aside from the Ensure, I didn't give him ice cream or other dairy products as to avoid phlem build up. Keeping him well hydrated is super important, especially in the early morning when sleep tends to dry out one's mouth. Dehydrated tonsils bleed easier and you definitely want to avoid that at all costs.

    As soon as my son came home from the procedure, I put a ice pack in a towel and put it around his neck. When it warmed up, I immediately changed it to another cold one (I bought two and kept one in the freezer while he was using the other). My son was given regular children's tylenol every 4 hours during the day and Tylenol w/Codeine during the nighttime so that he could sleep. I was very disciplined and set my alarm so that he didn't miss a dose. It is important to stay ahead of the pain because it is difficult to play "catch up" if the pain kicks in full force. Towards the end of the first week, he no longer needed the tylenol w/codeine at night, we just gave him the Tylenol.

    AS A SIDE:
    A couple of interesting outcomes: His voice changed a bit (from no longer having such huge tonsils blocking his throat); he sleeps through the night....FINALLY! My son has not mentioned having a "weird taste" in his mouth since having his tonsils out and I have asked this question of him very directly because I am told this is a common occurence after a tonsillectomy (the clamp used to keep the tongue back puts a lot of pressure on the taste buds, which can require some healing before the taste is back to normal).

    I guess with all this said, you still need to think about a couple of things~ He will definitely need to miss at least one week of school and activities. And though he might be disappointed, it will most likely take him another week to get his strength back before he can play ball. Perhaps this information will help him weigh what is worse for with the painful tonsils until summer, or missing a couple weeks of activities to have them out now.

    Hopefully this has been helpful for you. Again, this was just my experience and I am sure others can offer additional perspectives for you.

    All the best to you!

    P.S. I am scheduled to have my tonsils removed this Monday March 23, and as an adult, I am told to expect a 2 week recovery period, at the minimum! We'll see how it goes

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    Old 03-17-2009, 10:49 AM   #3
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    Re: tonsillectomy 11 yr old

    I had mine removed a few years ago in my mid 30s. My ent suggested taking at least 2 weeks off. Because as the scabs start to come off, there's the risk of bleeding.

    I didn't have issues with bleeding; however, I lost my voice, I was tired because I didn't sleep well at first -- kept waking up thirsty and/or needing pain meds. Then at day 8 my ears started to hurt -- all just part of the healing process, but it was disappointing because by then I thought I was getting better and that knocked me for a loop for about two more days.

    I believe a coworker's 6 year old just had the surgery and the doctor recommended 2 weeks before going back to school.

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