You have heard about children having their tonsils removed many times. But it is a whole new ballgame when the patient is your child. If you find yourself in this position ask your doctor to send your child to Outpatient Services East. (OSE) The staff there will do everything possible to ensure the experience is the best possible for both you and your child.
Try to remember that tonsillectomies are performed everyday. But we know that “everyday” does not include your child. Keep in mind that your child will be completely asleep and will not feel pain during the procedure. Infact, one of the hardest things for you to endure may just be not allowing your child to eat before surgery. This is because there is a risk of vomiting with anesthesia. Your physician or nurse will give you exact instructions about when to stop eating and drinking.
Choosing OSE means that your child will go home the same day that he/she has their tonsils removed. Dress your child in loose comfortable clothing for going to the surgical center. Arrive on time. In some cases a medication called Versed can be given prior to the procedure to reduce anxiety, especially in small children. If your child has other health problems, your doctor may order blood work or other tests before the surgery.
After your child is out of surgery he/she will be monitored for a few hours. Before you leave the surgical center you will be given exact instructions as to how to care for your child once you are home. It is important that your follow your doctor’s instructions.
Most likely you will be told your child can have clear liquids such as apple juice, soda, soup broth, jello, etc.
After you are home be sure to call your physician or go to the emergency room if your child experiences any of the following:
- fever or chills
- excessive nausea and vomiting
- excessive pain
- if your child is unable to urinate within 8-12 hours of surgery
- notice any bright red bleeding
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Your child will likely be prescribed oral pain medication to take following surgery. Typical medications used include oxycodone and hydrocodone. Often combination medications like Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen combined) and Lortab(hydrocodone and acetaminophen) are prescribed. You should refrain from taking acetaminophen while on a combination pain medication to avoid an acetaminophen overdose. The doctor will have your child’s complete medical history and will know what pain medication will be best for him/her. Make sure you follow the directions and talk to your pharmacist before giving any medications to your child. The pain should gradually decrease and within a few days after surgery your child should have started feeling better. Make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon.
To make your child’s surgery as easy as possible on you and your child be sure to take him/her to Outpatient Services East for the procedure.
Call them for more information: phone: 205-838-3888 web: www.osesurg.com
(Sources: American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Fact Sheet: Tonsillectomy Procedures. Accessed: June 19, 2009 from http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tonsillectomyProcedures.cfm
Medline Plus. Tonsillectomy. Accessed: June 19, 2009 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003013.htm)
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