Causes of ‘sore throat’ in childhood are many and varied – for better or worse, developing immunity to the countless infectious organisms we encounter as human beings is an important part of your child’s developmental timeline.
Many sore throats are caused by viruses. These often need no treatment besides rest, fluid, pain relief and TLC. Occasionally, however, individuals suffer repeated bouts of painful tonsillitis (or suffer very severe bouts, requiring time of work and school, and/or hospital admission). In these cases, your GP will provide expert guidance as to when referral to an Evolve ENT might be necessary. Tonsils (and their lesser known cousin, the adenoids) may need surgical removal to restore good health in certain cases. Our experts at Evolve can guide you regarding the best option for you, your child and your family.
Tonsil and Adenoid Surgery: What to Expect
On the day: On the morning of your child’s adenoid and/or tonsil surgery, you will follow the fasting instructions you have been given. Depending on the time of operation, these will either have your child ‘Nil By Mouth’ from midnight, or may allow them sips of clear fluid up to a certain time in the morning. You and your child will present to the hospital area listed in your paperwork for check in – you’ll answer some questions and have some basic health checks. Most hospitals allow children to wear their own pyjamas, but sometimes a gown will be provided. A favourite cuddly toy can usually come along for the ride and as there will be some waiting involved, it’s a good idea to bring an activity, such as a book, iPAD or tablet, for kids to occupy themselves. If you’re staying overnight, bring spare pyjamas; clothes for leaving, toiletries and your child’s sleep routine items.
Time to go: In elective cases, your child’s support person (usually Mum, Dad or carer) comes along with them to the anaesthetic room, where you’ll meet more of our team. It’s normal for children to be nervous about new experiences – they will look to you for a clue as to how they should be feeling. We know from experience that kids whose carers keep it cheerful and upbeat (on the surface at least!) are happier going to sleep, and wake up more smoothly… Of course it’s normal for you to be nervous too (shedding some tears after your child goes to sleep is the rule, rather than the exception!) but our caring team will be there to support you and guide you back to the waiting area.
Going to sleep: Small children usually drift off to sleep using a mask. Bigger children occasionally need a small needle to go to sleep safely. To make this comfortable, we use a numbing jelly on the skin before-hand.
General anaesthetics are extremely safe. Like all things in life, there are some risks, and you will discuss these with your anaesthetist on the day. In Australia, risks are exceptionally rare – and comparable to other risky things we do every day, like driving in a car. Our surgeons have world-class training and expertise – as well as families of our own. Your child’s comfort and safety is our utmost priority. While they are in our hands, we will treat them like our own – right up until we return them to yours.
Depending on your child’s needs, you and your Evolve surgeon will have determined in advance which technique will be used. The choice of technique may allow some children to be discharged home later on the day of surgery. Most children will stay overnight, with their carer. A short period of observation in hospital allows us to watch and treat your child should they feel groggy, queasy or experience pain or discomfort, as well as to educate you about what to expect from the days following their surgery.