Paediatric ENT Surgery
Common childhood conditions may be treated with ENT surgery. ENT procedures often performed in children include:
A tonsillectomy is an operation to remove the tonsils from the back of the throat. This procedure may be recommended if tonsils are enlarged and causing obstructive sleep apnoea, or if your child is suffering from recurrent bouts of tonsillitis.
After a tonsillectomy, your child will experience pain. Pain typically peaks between 3 and 7 days after surgery, and usually resolves within 2 weeks. While recovering from a tonsillectomy, some children are reluctant to eat normally. It is important to give your child pain medication as prescribed, and ensure that they drink adequate fluids. Bleeding and infection are possible complications of a tonsillectomy.
An adenoidectomy is a procedure to remove lymphatic tissue (the adenoids) from the back of the nose. If the adenoids are enlarged, they may obstruct the nose and interfere with breathing and sleep. They can also contribute to problems with the tube that connects the ears and nose contributing to recurrent ear infections. An adenoidectomy is a minor procedure, and recovery is usually complete within a couple of days. It is often performed at the same time as a tonsillectomy or grommet insertion.
Grommet insertion is a minor procedure that involves placement of a tiny tube in the ear drum. This procedure is done for children who are experiencing hearing loss or recurrent ear infections due to “glue ear” (otitis media with effusion). After grommet surgery, many children experience no pain at all.
For a child with grommets, it is advisable to take precautions to prevent water from getting into the ears. Ear plugs and a head band during swimming and bathing will help to prevent infections from being introduced into the middle ear.
Grommets remain in place for around 6 – 18 months, before falling out by themselves. By this time, Eustachian tube function may have matured to allow adequate drainage of the middle ear, so that repeat grommet insertion is not usually necessary. About 20% of children will require a second set of grommets because the Eustachian tube bas not matured enough.
During ENT surgery, some children may require more than one procedure. Dr Julia Crawford will formulate an individualised treatment plan for your child, and discuss any proposed surgery with you in detail. If your child requires an assessment for possible ENT surgery, an appointment can be made to see Dr Crawford in Darlinghurst or Hurstville, just call (02) 8319 9434.