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Kristin Hayes, R.N.

Five Year Old Dies After Tonsillectomy

By June 1, 2009

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A few weeks ago five year old Hunter Mosher from Michigan passed away after having a laser tonsillectomy. Mosher was having his tonsils reduced to cure his sleep apnea. A very rare complication, a pseudo-aneurysm of his carotoid artery, occurred and he died a week later. I read this story about a week ago and was saddened and concerned by it. In part because my own two children are going in for surgery this week but also because of the many children I send home after tonsillectomies every day. My heart went out to Hunter's family. Now that I can put my feelings aside I hope that some of what I have to say on Mosher's case might make a difference.

While the complication that is said to have caused Hunter Mosher's death is indeed very rare his story has prompted me to reiterate the risks associated with tonsillectomies and what parents need to be on the look out for. Because of their location in the throat the tonsils are in direct proximity with a major artery. The risk of hitting this artery is a major concern in removing the tonsils. Different methods of removing the tonsils have been developed all aimed at reducing the risk of bleeding and pain. These include laser removal, microdebridement and plasma technology. Physicians have questioned the use of laser surgery in Mosher's case. To make matters worse, because the laser surgery is supposedly painless medical professionals discounted complaints by Mosher's mother that he was having severe pain.

Before my patients leave the hospital I use a flashlight and a tongue depressor to view the tonsil beds. I am looking for any signs of bright red blood. You can do this at home using a popsicle stick. Let me explain that there are two types of blood, old blood and new blood. It is common to see old blood with tonsillectomies as the patient will swallow it during surgery and it will later come out in their saliva or even vomit. Old blood looks brown and is sometimes described as looking like coffee grounds. It is normal to see a small amount of old blood. Bright red blood at any time is unacceptable and needs to be reported to a physician immediately. It may manifest in saliva, or you may see streaks of bright red blood from the tonsil beds running down the throat. If there is a lot of bleeding there may be a considerable amount of vomiting. This is an emergency.

The last thing I want to say is that as a parent, if you feel that there is something wrong with your child, do not hesitate to insist that your child be seen by a doctor. You know your child better than any doctor or nurse. You are the first one who is likely to discover any complications. Do not discount your own intuition. The best doctors and nurses listen to parents. If yours isn't listening find someone who will.

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April 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm
(1) Krista bright says:

WOW, I read this while looking on the internet. My 2 year old died the same way. on March 21, 2010. Hers was the lingual artery, a branch of the carotid. There was nothing I could do to stop the blood…I was helpless. People do need to understand that while this is a rare complication, it can happen.

April 15, 2010 at 10:33 am
(2) ent says:

Oh Krista, I am so sorry for your loss! Thank you for sharing this perfect example of why this can be such a serious complication.

Every once in a while a new ENT doctor at work will try to tell the nurses not to send the patient to the ER or call 911. In their eyes there are things parents can try at home to stop the bleeding. Like gargle ice water (not that a two year old could gargle anyway). Like you said, if it’s coming from an artery you can’t stop the bleeding at home. I have never listened to these docs and your experience, while heartbreaking, is vindicating. I will share it with my co-workers and continue trying to inform my readers of the dangers of post-op bleeding after tonsillectomy.

My heart goes out to you and your family,

April 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm
(3) Jennie says:

I’m so sorry for your loss Krista. I had my tonsils out last february at the age of 26. I too bled from an artery 9 days post surgery but luckily I survived to tell the tale. It was an extremely scary situation and not one I like to think about a great deal. I lost a lot of blood and was very poorly but I am thankful to have come through the other side. Thanks for raising this important issue.

July 18, 2010 at 10:01 pm
(4) Erin Mosher says:

Hi, I am Hunter Mosher’s momma. I was just doing an online search on my Son’s name and found your article. I can not thank you enough for taking the time to write and publish your article. Public awareness concerning the risks of this surgery is very low. I remember when we were preparing for Hunter’s surgery I was very stressed by it, and so many people just blew me off, “oh Erin, its JUST a tonsilectomy!” I will NEVER see it as “just a tonsilectomy” again. A tonsilectomy still has major risks that need to be considered, I know first hand, my son died from one.

Thank you again, for your article, and for checking your patients as you do before they ever leave the hospital. It this would have been done for my son, he would be alive today.

October 12, 2010 at 9:26 am
(5) Becky Bowen says:

On May 17th my 8 year old daughter went in to surgery for tonsillectomy and adnoidectomy. On May 22nd she started spitting up blood. I was told that was normal. Around 1am on May 23rd she started throwing up blood and it was pouring out of her nose and mouth. I took her to UMC in Lebanon and her ENT came in and done emergency surgery because she had hemmhoraged. She was released later that day and I was told that everything should be fine. On may 27th she started throwing up blood clots. I took her back to UMC. Her doctor was out of work and they had no other ENT’s on call so she was transferred by ambulance to Vanderbilt Children’s. First thing that happened there is she was told she could go to the restroom so I took her. She passed out and hit her head in the bathroom. They came in there and got her and took her back to her room. They carterized while she was awake a small area in her throat. She was released the next day. Again we were told everything would be fine. On May 30th she started throwing up blood clots again. Again I took her to UMC. And again she was transferred by ambulance to Vanderbilt. They checked her out and couldn’t find anywhere she could be bleeding from. They got the hematology department involved thinking there may have been something wrong with her clotting. All of that has been confirmed normal as of this morning. They kept her overnight for observation anyway. On the mornings of June 1st and 2nd she woke up with dry blood in and around her mouth and on her pillow. I called her ENT’s office and the nurse said it was nothing to worry about. On the morning of June 3rd she started throwing up blood clots again. I took her to UMC and her hemaglobin counts had dropped from 12 to 9. They called Vanderbilt and had her transferred by ambulance again. They couldn’t find anywhere that she would be bleeding from and said her blood counts looked like they were rising. They released her that afternoon. Her and I talked later that evening and we came to realize that Vanderbilt NEVER took blood from her. How would they know it was getting better? So the next morning, June 4th I took her to her pediatricians office and they checked her blood. It had fallen to 8.6. Her doctors called the ENT who initially done the surgery and he said to have her admitted to Vanderbilt. She was taken again by ambulance. When we got there they carterized another little spot and decided that it was maybe an issue for the gastrointerologists. They scheduled an endoscopy for the next morning. Later that evening they checked her blood again and it had fallen to 7.7. They went ahead and gave her a blood transfusion. While she was getting the endoscopy they found blood pooled in her mouth and throat. They got the ENT in there and he performed another total carterization of her throat. That night they gave her Oxycodone for pain and her oxygen and heart rate kept falling. They would have to come in and wake her up to get her to breath normally. They kept her until Monday, June 7th. We haven’t had anymore bleeding, but her voice is still off and her speech is messed up. She has a fear of eating solid foods because she is afraid of choking. It still feels like something is in her throat. Her ENT said everything should go back to normal in due time, it’s just scar tissue. I feel like she went through a lot more than was needed. THey should have figured out what was bleeding long before she had to be in the hospital so many times. It should have never gotten to the point where she needed a transfusion. It was very hard on her and still is with the speech and eating issues. It was hard on me being pregnant and going through this with her.

December 12, 2010 at 10:51 pm
(6) Cathy says:

I was considering getting a laser tonsillectomy because I have swollen tonsils that bother me constantly. But now I’m definitely terrified. I can’t go through with any tonsillectomy now.
Is there any other alternative?

December 13, 2010 at 10:39 am
(7) Heather says:

Ok, I am really scared. My 4yr. old son is supposed to go for his adnoids and tonsils on 12/29. I was researching and I came across this. Now what do I do. The poor kid isnt getting a good nights sleep because of his tonsils. So what is a mother to do. He wakes up with bags under his eyes.

December 14, 2010 at 11:29 am
(8) ent says:

The important thing to remember, Heather, is that while these risks do exist and you should be aware of them they are really very rare. I’ve been taking care of patients getting their tonsils and adenoids out for the last 8 years and no patients at any of the facilities I’ve worked at have ever died as a result of post-op bleeding. Read some of the other articles on the site about post-op bleeding after a tonsillectomy so that you can recognize the signs and get immediate medical attention if this were to happen but keep in mind it most likely won’t. I also have an article on preparing your child for surgery that you may find helpful.

January 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm
(9) Kiah Wolton-Phillips says:

My son turned two last month and he has suffered from tonsillitis consistently since he was six months old. His speech has been affected and he struggles to eat or sleep well. He has also had problems with ear infections. between the ages of six months and sixteen months, he had 11 acute tonsillitis infections requiring antibiotics. Eventually, he was prescribed a prophylactic dose of antibiotics and for the six months that he took them, he didn’t have tonsillitis. However, he did get nasty oral thrush infections and since stopping the antibiotics, he has had yet another bout of tonsillitis. As a result of these infections and his eating, speaking and sleep problems, he is due to have both a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy on the 9th feb. I am terrified and because generally this is seen as a straightforward procedure, I don’t think that people have realised just how serious it is or what complications can be. I am scared about the complications but know that htere is no alternative for him. His hospital will keep him overnight and he will have a dedicated nurse. Is there anything else I should be doing for him and how on earth do I prepare him for this? Please help.

January 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm
(10) adele says:

my son is due for a tonsillectomy and adenoids out mid feb, I am at the point of canclling this op, his life is impaired with sleep apnea, sickness, runny nose, noisy breathing, and general infections, he is really quite ill, I am terrified of the op tho, I have had cot death previously which does nothelp, and have a baby girl suffering with a condition called mastocytosis,
What do other mums think, should I let him have it done, should I cancel? thanks in advance xxx

January 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm
(11) jay says:

I’m nuts about this whole thing…my daughter has to have hers out too and Im sick about this whole thing!!My heart goes out to the families that have lost. I have lost my first born daughter and cannot imagine losing another one. I know that this op will help her but the chance of anything going wrong is sickening!! Please help!

February 2, 2011 at 10:52 am
(12) Teresa R. Simpson says:

As a parent, I’m sure that stories like these must be very frightening. I wanted to share my own story in hopes that it might help.

I had my tonsils out in June at the age of 32. Before hand, the risks were explained to me, including the risk of bleeding. My doctor’s office made it clear that bleeding was a potentially serious issue and to report any such bleeding to them immediately.

Nine days after my surgery, I began bleeding profusely. My ENT directed me to the nearest emergency room where he was waiting for me when I arrived. Fortunately, he was able to stop the bleeding and I recovered completely with no further complications.

I think the big issue is to know before the surgery how seriously your ENT takes the issue of bleeding. If you are concerned that he or she is not concerned enough, perhaps it would be better to find a different doctor.

In the seven months since my surgery, my quality of life has improved dramatically. I haven’t had strep throat or tonsilitis since then and I have even stopped snoring!

If I had it to do over again, I would–as long as I had a doctor who erred on the side of caution.

February 13, 2011 at 7:24 am
(13) nicole h says:

I came across this bc my 4 yr old had her tonsils out 4 days ago & she’s has a temp, so I was looking at if this is ok…..but other daughter now 7, had hers out & 10 days afterwards she began to bleed. She had emergency surgery & was fine. It was very scary but she’s great now! I would say, if u don’t trust ur dr. Don’t do it! Find one u do trust!!

March 2, 2011 at 6:36 am
(14) emma says:

my 4yr old son had tonsilectomy on 17th february he has done really well no complications as yet and hope not to have any now he is nearly 2 wks post op. He had temp for a couple of days followig surgery but coped really well. His daddy had tonsilectomy age 23 and he had post op bleeding and was on ITU for a while very poorly, this was obviously a scarey thought for our son goin through with surgery but it was something that needed doing due to the recurrent tonsilitus he was suffering from. My heart goes out to the parents who have lost their children through this and i can not begin to imagine how you cope xx

March 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm
(15) Shannon Sellers says:

My son Cayden Sellers passed away February 12, 2011, less than 48 hours after his tonsils and adenoids were removed. We have not received the final autopsy report, so we do not have answers at this point as to the cause death. I would strongly caution parents that children should be kept for observation after this surgery. It should NOT be an outpatient surgery and parents should NOT be given the role to play doctor with our young children’s lives. The thing that madden’s me greatly is that the ENT physician was called the night of the surgery with concerns of Cayden not taking in liquids and being very tired and was quite dismissive. I miss my son dearly and would hate to hear of more stories of this happening.

April 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm
(16) cheralynn says:

my daughter died after a adenoidectomy. my heart goes out to the family. My daughter was beileved to be overdosed and went into cardiac arrest. My oldest daughter had hers removed and she is great now. So sorry for your loss.

April 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm
(17) marley says:

my daughter died when she went in for her adnoidectomy. december 14, 2010. She was 14 months old. She was beileved to be overdosed by anestsia. She had the surgery before in august and had a infection that caused a blood problem. The adnoids grew back and the surgery is scary they make you think its simple but i cant beileve the death rate of this surgery. Noone ever tells you how serious it really is i agree it should be an inpatient surgery we miss our daughter very much im so sorry to all the parents that have lost it is a horrible feeling.

April 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm
(18) Angie says:

I am so sorry for those who have lost their children to this surgery. My now 4 yrd old has this surgery when she was 20 months old due to being a very sickly child and she came out great. However, I have 9 month old twins who are likely going to need this surgery and now honestly after reading some of these statements I am freaking out. Thus this leaves me not knowing what I need to do.

April 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm
(19) Mandy says:

Wow I am in tears reading all of thes posts! I came across this site after trying to find out about throat infections for patients post tonsillectomy. My 2 year old son had his tonsils removed 6 months ago. If I had to do it over again I would NOT have done it. He was getting strep throat every month for 6 months. After much hesitation we went through with it. It was TERRIBLE. My sons post op recovery was complete hell for 2 weeks. Words can’t describe how terrible it was. I can only compare it to the 3 months we spent with him in the NICU when he was born. He was a 25 week preemie. With all that being said he is STILL having a ton of problems with his throat. He gets throat infections every 2-3 weeks. Not Strep….some sort of viral throat infections that give him a high fever and obviously a sore throat. He has been sick 3 weeks out of the last 6. Any others having this problem? I feel terrible for my little man!
Again I am heartbroken for the families that have lost their little ones. So sorry for your loss!

April 11, 2011 at 2:07 am
(20) Maria says:

My son just had a T&A, and I know if I would have read this beforehand I would not have went thru with it. We are about to hit the 2 week mark since his surgery & just wanted to know if anybody knew if bleeding is a concern after that period. Thank you to anyone who answers and my heart goes out to all the parents who have lost their children going thru this process

April 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm
(21) ent says:

The bleeding risk goes down significantly after about 7 days when the scabs come off of the tonsil beds.

April 12, 2011 at 5:26 am
(22) Kiah says:

Hi all,
Firstly, I am so sorry for the families who have suffered the loss of their child following this procedure. I want to share my experience for those parents who are facing this procedure for their children. I posted on here a few weeks before my son had his t&a’s removed at 2 yr 2 months. It was difficult but he came through without any complications and with good pain management and keeping him hydrated, he was back on his feet after about 9 days. This is the toughest thing I have been through as a parent but it was absolutely worth it. He is now well and happy, can eat and sleep in comfort. This should not be an outpatient procedure if your child is still young in my view, having been through it. Insist they she/he stay overnight. There are of course risks, as some of the stories here show. For my son, there was no choice really so the best I could do for him was to make sure he got the best care possible, during and after surgery. Good luck to anyone facing this, I know how it feels.

April 12, 2011 at 11:23 pm
(23) marley says:

i am in somewhat agreeance. i know my baby needed this surgery she was very sick her adenoids caused severe sleep apnea i no it would have helped it was the docters falt she died i just wish there was a better way.

May 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm
(24) Tracy Smith says:

I’m so dearly sorry for the mothers/families above for your loss of your children due to what is to be known as a common simple routine surgery. I want to stress to anyone considering please make it last resort. My son 5yrs old had T&A due to several strep throats. Surgery went well then he began to throw up, they released him. 5 min @ home bright red blood dripped from mouth. Surgeon said go bk to OR. Once we got there he threw blood up profusley & continually pouring out mouth. Doc did emergency surgery & 3hr later said they couldn’t stop it but they temp cauterized it they thk may have blood prob.Hemotology will be meeting up in morning & my son was placed on ventalator/coma due to blood & breathn. Next morn he asleep w/tubes bleed out terribly. ICU rushed him n2 OR he had to have blood tranfussions & they stitched him old fashion way. New ENT dr said vessels were open.??don’t know if it was atery. I greived & prayed so hard. Luckily, his life was spared & 6 days in ICU tubes came out successfully. He was close and was very healthy kid besides strep! Came home 3days later coughed & bleed. They kept him on blood clottin meds 4 safety meaures & he stopped, thankfully.Were still recovering and he’s slowly becoming himself again. God spared my son.I pray for every child how has this procedure & the ones who have lost one from it. There always that % that hemmorage could happen & never expect it.God Bless…

May 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm
(25) Tracy Smith says:

Also, for any MI fam considering this operation. My son went through all of this at Detroit Childrens Hospital. The ENT to find the problem & save him was ENT Walter Belenky.. 1st surgeon gave up & blamed it on blood disorder which results were cleared as normal. It’s heart wrenching please do your research…..

June 3, 2011 at 10:28 am
(26) Erin Mosher says:

Reading about all the other mommas who have lost their chldren breaks my heart. There is just NO reason to lose a child over a tonsillectomy. Yes, there are good surgeons out there, and you need to do your research. My hunter had a coblation tonsillectomy, it is a low heat laser that sends off radio waves to shrink the tonsills. It is “supposed” to be much less invasive than a scalpel style tonsillectomy, shorter healing time and less pain. BUT, ALL tonsillectomies have their risks. There is ONLY 2 mm between a young childs tonsils and their coratid artery. In Hunter’s case, the dr either made an error and hit the skin over the artery, or the laser malfunctioned. Either way, there was NO seeping blood, nothing. On the way home from the hospital that day my Hunter said he was in pain, I called the Surgeon asking for pain meds for Hunter, he refused, pretty much telling me Hunter needed to suck it up, he was fine, and I was overreacting. I then called my Dr, who wouldnt prescribe him anything. I made over 5 phone calls and EVERYONE I called said Hunter would be FINE! The next day I took him into a local ER, as he still wouldnt eat and he still complained of pain. The Er Drs really tried to blow me off, just said, “Mrs Mosher, Hunter just needs to drink.” But they gave him and IV to pacify me, as I insisted he needed fluids.

June 3, 2011 at 10:30 am
(27) Erin Mosher says:

I even gave them a fit when they gave him a red popsicle as I said, ” he isn’t supposed to have red popsicles, if he does bleed at all we wont see the blood over the red popsicle.” The nurse told me, ” we are NOT worried about bleeding at this point, he can have the popsicle.” It wasn’t 5 minutes later my son’s coratid artery blew open in my and my husband’s arms, we were screaming for the nurse, as we were watching our son drowned in his own blood. The ER Dr. on staff was not able to intubate my son, over 30 min later aircare flew in, they got him intubated and transfered to another larger hospital. My son went without oxygen to his brain, his llungs filling full of blood for over 35 minutes. He was declared Brain dead a week later. I laid by his side holding him while he was disconnected from all life support. My family is changed forever, I’m changed forever. I have 6 other children, NONE of them will EVER have a tonsillectomy. The risk is just too high. Call it over reacting, call it whatever you want, but in my home, NO ONE will have one. The risk is just too high.

June 3, 2011 at 10:31 am
(28) Erin Mosher says:

I have heard people say to look into your Drs history and such. Hunter’s surgeon had over 20 years of good history, he was a wonderful surgeon, a bit prideful, but a good surgeon. BUT sometimes those good surgeons, just like the rest of us, can get a bit prideful. I believe if he would have swallowed his pride and brought Hunter back in, when I called, my son would have been alive today. He knew what to look for, the everyday man or woman did not, as there was no seeping blood. BUT, HE would have seen the change in the skin color by the coratid artery, something we did NOT know to look for. His comments at a later date to me were, ” Mrs. Mosher, I am so sorry. I knew there was something wrong when you called and I blew you off. I have not had a mom tell me their child is in pain in my 20 years of operating on chldren!” REALLY, REALLY! Drs. NEED to swallow their darned pride and listen to parents. We KNOW our children. Hunter was a tough as nails lil’ boy, he was in pain and he knew it! I just wish his Dr would have listened.
Please parents, if you do or MUST take your children in for a surgery of ANY KIND, listen to your children. Then be their advocate, fight to have them looked at and cared for. You are their voice to the world of medicane. I understand SOME tonsillectomies are necessary for SOME children, but please, do NOT allow the surgeons or the hospitals to rush your baby out the door, make sure you use a surgeon that is going to listen to you. For those in the southwest MI area there is a great ENT – Dr. Doug Ready of W. Michigan ENT. He met hunters hellicopter at the hospital and did his best to save my sons life, he is wonderful. But please, please, please, remember ALL surgeries come with a fatal risk. You need to weigh the risks.

June 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm
(29) ent says:

In the 2 yrs since I’ve written this blog I have been conflicted by the comments. This content can be terrifying for parents and cause anxiety over a surgery that thousands of kids have each day w/o complications.
On the other hand, all of you who have shared your experiences with post-op bleeding make it that much more important to me to get the word out.
I send parents home with tongue depressors and teach them how to check the tonsil beds for bleeding. Nurses I work with also do this.
The problem is that many surgeons are not all that concerned.
Before choosing an ENT ask him about post-op bleeding. If they say that it is normal or blow you off, you probably want to find a different Dr.
Ask your nurse to grab a tongue depressor and flashlight to check the tonsil beds for bleeding before you are discharged.
Always follow your intuition. I’ve never seen a case where the mother thought there was something wrong with their child and it turned out to be nothing. I did, however, see a lot of Drs. mistakenly discount a mother’s concern.
I also want to say, if you are a parent or patient reading this don’t let fear paralyze you. Even though it seems like there are a lot of comments here from people who have had bleeding after a T&A they really represent a tiny percentage of the patients who have had this surgery. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences and chronic tonsillitis is not only miserable but it causes you to miss work and school, interfering with your finances and your child’s education.
Make sure the surgery is necessary. Find the right Dr. Learn as much as you can. Be prepared and vigilant when you take your child home from the hospital. Make sure you have your surgeon’s phone # where you can get to it fast. If you or your child is bleeding profusely call 911. Trust your instincts and be persistent if you suspect a problem. If you do these things then you should proceed with confidence.

June 8, 2011 at 1:22 am
(30) Leap says:

I am so sorry to the mothers who lost their precious children after T&A, I can’t even begin to imagine how awful that is for you both.
I found this after I ‘goggled’ post op hemorrhage, as my 6 yr old son had T&A done 14 days ago, then 10 days post op he had a hemmorrhage, I called ’000′ (Australia) and he was rushed to the emergency at local hospital. They didn’t cauterize his throat, as the bleed stopped before ambo’s arrived at our home, but he lost a lot of blood. he was on a drip and intervenous antibiotics in hospital for 3days and 3 nights, and not allowed to eat or drink incase they had to take him back into surgery. they did a blood test every day to check his hemoglobin levels (8.3 the day after bleed, then 8.6 the following day)
It was the most horrific thing I’ve ever been through, and I thank GOD he woke up and was able to spit (more like vomit) the blood out, I can’t imagine what would have happened if he was a heavy sleeper. And Thank GOD the hemorrhage stopped, I was so scared!
He is home now, another 2 weeks off school (he’s so upset, he misses his friends) and we’ll see the ENT next week and probably have another blood test to be sure the hemoglobin levels are coming back up.
I’m just praying that it doesn’t happen again as ENT said he is at risk for 10 days after hemorrhage.

June 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm
(31) Eve says:

I don’t know the words to express how deeply saddened I am to read about the passing of some after this surgery. My 3 1/2 year old girl just had tubes put in her ears and her tonsils & adenoids removed 7 days ago at Hoboken Univ. Med. Ctr. in NJ. She is still in pain but seems to be subsiding lil. by lil. I do think that the docs/nurses pass it off as if there are no concerns just b/c it’s so common.

June 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm
(32) Maya says:

I am very sorry for all the loses due to this procedure. I had my tonsils taken June 8th, 2011. Very recent. That night when I left the hospital I woke up and was choking on blood. I didn’t know it was blood, but luckily my mother was up and helped me to the bathroom. I needed help because I couldn’t get up myself, the blood lose made it very difficult. When we got to the bathroom I spit into the toilet and saw that it was blood. My mother got a large baking bowl and we rushed to the E.R. Luckily, my body acted fast enough and clogged the wound, but later that day the doctors clogged it themselves with another surgery. I did have to stay over night, but, I did ask the doctor all about this. It’s proven that people with red head genes are actually more likely to bleed. Not on the first night, that was actually just some random thing that WOULD happen to me being the 1% of people it happens to. You don’t have to be red headed it just has to be in your genes. I’m a bernett for example. So, if you’re having any doubts about the procedure, you shouldn’t. It is a scary thing due to the loses, but it’s better than living with swollen tonsils, trust me, I know. I had stones in my tonsils. Not actual rocks, but it’s from an infection that causes something.. not sure what to get hard and.. well, basically be a stone.

June 26, 2011 at 12:11 am
(33) Stacey says:

My son is almost 29 months old. He was diagnosed with strep throat on May 30 and put on penicillan. 11 days later (1 day after his last dose of antibiotics), he started running a fever and throwing up again. Back to the ER we went where a rapid strep test was negitive. I got a call about 48 hours later saying the cultures grew back that he DID have strep so the ER doc put him back on penicillan. 11 days later (while we were on vacation 800 miles from home) he started running a fever again. We could tell that he was going to end up being sick again so took him to the ER and the doc there didn’t even bother testing him – just put him immediately on azithromycin. This ER doc said our son’s tonsils are HUGE and if azithromycin doesn’t knock the strep out and bring down the tonsils, he more then likely will end up with strep again and have to have his tonsils removed.

July 20, 2011 at 8:46 am
(34) Lucy says:

Sincere sympathies to those who have lost a child. My son had his tonsils and adenoids removed 4 months ago due to sleep apnaea. He had pain for about 4 days and recovered extremely quickly. His sleep apnaea has disappeared and he now has a refreshed sleep every night. My daughter had her tonsils removed 12 days ago because she had tonsillitis almost every month. She felt the pain much more than my son did. On day 6 she had a bleed and was kept in hospital for observation. The same thing happened again on day 10 and she was kept in for observation again. She still has white patches in her throat so I won’t relax until she has healed completely. The surgeon and nurses did warn us of the risks but after my son’s experience, I assumed that all would be fine. We have been lucky that both bleeds haven’t been too serious but don’t make any decisions for yourself – a small bleed can turn into a big bleed and best to get to hospital as quickly as possible. I took my daughter in the car but was told to call an ambulance if it happens again – don’t take any risks.

July 23, 2011 at 11:39 pm
(35) cindy says:

I am so so so sorry for the parents who lost their children, my heart breaksfor them. My l8 year old son had his t/a removed three days ago and I am shocked at the pain that is involved with the recovery. He is able to handle pain very well but this has thrown him for a loop. The only pain medication that the doctor would give him was tylenol with codeine in a liquid form. This does not even touch pain that is this bad. He keeps begging me to take him to the hospital that he cannot deal with the pain. He also has had three nose bleeds that have not been that severe. Should I be concerned about the nose bleeds? Also, I know the older that you are the harder the operation is on the patient. What were other older patients given for this surgery?

July 25, 2011 at 2:10 am
(36) ent says:

Tylenol with a Codeine is, quite frankly, a crappy pain killer. It is used mainly in children because its not strong enough for adults and used after a T&A because it is one of the few drugs that come in an elixir that is easy to swallow. What you need to do is call your physician NOW (it does not matter that its a holiday or weekend or night-call his office # and get the MD on call) and request Lortab elixir or another pain medication instead.

The nose bleeds are from the adenoids and are not, as long as they are minor, all that concerning. Bright red bleeding from the throat (tonsil beds) however is emergent. If there is confusion use a flash light and tongue depressor/popcicle stick to view the tonsil beds. They should look white and/or brown. Bright red streaks are a problem. Hope this helps.
ent guide

July 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm
(37) sarah says:

My 3 year old is going in for this surgery in 2 weeks time – The specialist has told us that she definately needs it. We have saved and are going to the childrens hospital where she will stay (with me) over night. I have been freaking out about the anathesia until now as she has never had any type of anasthetic at all. After reading this I have so many more concerns now – I am completely terrified and am thinking about cancelling immediately. Although I understand that complications are rare the fact that this can end in such tragedy has caused me to seriously question this. So confused :-(

July 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm
(38) Laura says:

I am so very sorry for the ladies that have lost their little ones, and thank you all for posting all this information.
I am a Mom of 4 girls ages almost 3 in Sept, 7, almost 6 end of Aug and Almost 9 in sept, 3 of my girls the 3,7 and 9 yr old are having T&A and tubes place, the 6 yr old had her tonsils and adnoids removed at age 2 she is only having tubes placed. My question is this I talked to the Dr.s office I am assuming to the secretary who told me when I asked about keeping them overnight because we are driving 70 miles to have this surgeries done she said in the year I have been here the Dr. has never kept anyone overnite. Also when told my almost 3 yr old is very stubborn about drinking the secretary told me you will just have to push gateraid, koolaid, etc. I am very worried, My girls all need tubes for sure have hearing and speech problems and have huge tonsils. I am totally freaked out about this and just looking for some sound advice, like if I feel they need to stay overnite will anyone listen to me? This ENT has been doing this for 28 yrs. I just want nothing bad to happen to my children. Any Advice for a worried Mom???

July 29, 2011 at 10:54 pm
(39) ent says:

Try talking to the doctor and not the secretary. Fight to get him on the phone personally (threaten to cancel surgery otherwise) and then talk to him about your concerns. ENT’s come by the dozens, there are many more who would love to take your daughters tonsils out. But, before you do anything that drastic make sure that you’re not misunderstanding the doctors true feelings about post-op bleeding based on his secretary’s comments.

August 15, 2011 at 1:27 am
(40) Linsey (13) says:

Thanks because I need help cause I have had so many problems with my senses all accept my touch!

August 25, 2011 at 10:20 pm
(41) amy says:

I am so sorry for all the families that have lost their loved ones over T&A. My girl was scheduled to do the surgery on the 1st of sep but after reading these, I can not go through it, she has some infections sometimes and snores time to time …her tonsils are big I was concerned and her ENT suggested that I take them out but I am so freacked out can not do it anymore…my heart tells me no no

August 29, 2011 at 10:19 pm
(42) claudia says:

My granddaughter had surgery 08/23/2011 discharge home the same day. I visited with her every day.On Wednesday I told my daughter she was very pale. She does have a pale complexion so I told her to watch for bleeding.Early Thursday morning@ 0140 my daughter is telling me to come quick.911 was called and we went to the local ER. First I was upset with the emts because they acted like it was no big deal.. Second when we arrived at the ER it was almost 2 hours before a Doctor came. Note that she lost about 1 1/2 units of blood her hemoglobin was 12 and dropped to 10.4. She was take to Xray for soft tissues xrays of the neck. She fainted and fell and hit her head. Then they decide this must be serious and gave her an bolus of IV fluids and want to med flight her out. impending weather grounded the copters so she was transferred out where the surgery team was waiting on her and she had emergency surgery. Now it is 4 days later.
1. I am a nurse and I know serious post op bleeding occurs
2. Know your Doctor’s
3. watch for post op bleeding- frequent swallowing, bloody breath odor.
4.Pale and listless
5. Insist on immediate blood levels and insist on an IV access.
Also insist their ENT is called immediately!
This may help save your child’s life.
No one knows your child better then you do!

September 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm
(43) carol says:

my son had his tonsils out on friday and was doing fine – i came down the stairs this afternoon and he had started to bleed it has now stopped i rang his surgeon and he said to bring him in if he has two or more bleeds – after reading everything im worried sick

September 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm
(44) gina says:

I had tonsillectomy March of last year at Kaiser Woodland Hills. That supposedly a simple out-patient procedure but I end up in ICU for 4 days due to the surgeon hit my artery by mistake. I was in the recovery when I started bleeding and surgeon put me back to OR for cauterization. I was admitted but after few hrs, the bleeding started again and at that time I had no one but the nurse on duty. No doctor present. I filled up the toilet bowl with blood and blood all over the toilet, still no doctor showed up. Until I passed out on the 2nd time I went to the bathroom. When I woke up, there were the whole doctor team. Surgeon tried to fix the bleeding for the 2nd time but was unsuccessful. I was intubated and rushed to Kaiser Sunset since they could not do anything anymore to stop the bleeding. I was at 50/50 chance to survive. I lost a lot of blood that they needed to do 3 units of blood transfusion on me. Kaiser Sunset did like an andioplasti where they inserted a metal coil from my upper leg going to that artery in my neck and tied that artery with the metal coil. I consulted lawyers on that incident but they would not accept my case. I just want to share that very awful experience.. To date, I always have that bitter taste in my mouth and it always feel like there’s tissue cells all over my throat that I feel all the time and thick saliva. Acc to the doctor, my throat is OK…. I really hope so…I will get it checked again and again just to make sure.

September 28, 2011 at 2:27 am
(45) ravi pachigolla says:

I am so very sorry for the losses that many of you have suffered. I cannot even begin to contemplate how to deal with pain and anguish of losing a loved one to a “routine” surgery. Having said that, I would like to share with you some of the things that I have learned and that I think are very important to be aware of with this surgery and their ENT. I am an ENT myself and have been in practice for 11 years – no child or adult should ever die from this procedure.

First of all, before deciding on this surgery, make sure the indications for proceeding are correct. That would be 5 throat infections a year or evidence of sleep apnea (loud snoring heard with doors closed, open mouth breathing or sleep pauses of breathing). Generally one or two sleep pause episodes per hour is too many for a child. Mild snoring or occasional mild infections treated appropriately with antibiotics do not necessarily warrant this surgery.

September 28, 2011 at 2:29 am
(46) ravi pachigolla says:

Part 2:

Second, obviously discuss with your family, friends and pediatricians before proceeding. Get their opinions on particular physicians and hospitals. I would add definitely consider speaking with OR or ER nurses or physicians in your local community (if you’re able to – they may direct you to one physician or another). I believe they would give you honest advice. This is not to impugn a particular ENT vs. another but you need the best advice of which ENT may have fewer complications, etc. Not all ENT’s are created equal – I would say the vast majority take good care of patients and provide correct appropriate care but there are some rotten apples so beware. The loudest or heaviest advertiser is not necessarily the best. As far as hospitals are concerned, this is a little tricky. Generally I think most facilities that perform this surgery on a routine basis and handle the post-operative complications are the places to go. They have ER nurses, ER doctors and OR nurse and recovery room and floor nurses who know what’s important and what needs to be addressed right away. Children’s hospitals can be good also but there can be a large amount of variability there sometimes. They do take care of everything though. This may be a personal preference between you and your doctor.

September 28, 2011 at 2:30 am
(47) ravi pachigolla says:

Part 3:

When you schedule the surgery, make sure the doctor/nurse is telling you all the possible risks and complications. MOST IMPORTANTLY, YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL
RUSHED. This should not be given to a secretary to handle. We generally give pt. a tonsillectomy handout that lists all the things to do, eat and watch for. Appropriate PAIN MEDICATION MUST BE PRESCRIBED! If the pain is still significant despite the meds, the physician must adjust the medication or sometimes direct the patient to the ER or urgent care clinic for a shot of pain medication (especially adults).

If any complication does arise (bleeding), the doctor or nurse should have told you already what to do (ice water and go to nearest ER). The ENT should be available and ready to help (not irritated) or the on-call ENT should take care of the situation. You should not be left without some ENT to take care of you. I think it best even if the bleeding is minor, to observe everyone overnite and draw blood counts. Always better safe than sorry.

September 28, 2011 at 2:36 am
(48) ravi pachigolla says:

Part 4:

Here are a couple of technical points I would make. The surgeon performing the procedure should use whatever technique they feel comfortable using and doing. However technology has advanced and I feel coblation or similar
technology can make for an easier recovery. It is not
easy per se but easier compared to our old techniques of cold dissection with ties or hot cautery although surgeon ability trumps all of this. None of us are perfect surgeons also.

September 28, 2011 at 2:39 am
(49) ravi pachigolla says:

Part 5:


September 28, 2011 at 2:40 am
(50) ravi pachigolla says:


September 28, 2011 at 2:43 am
(51) ravi pachigolla says:


For the patient complaining of altered taste after tonsillectomy, look up dysgeusia after tonsillectomy. Again inferiorly, the glossopharyngeal or branches are in close proximity to the tonsils. These nerves innervate taste to the posterior third of the tongue. If the tonsillectomy is too hot or goes too deep close to that nerve, then it can be damaged, burnt or severed and lead to altered taste. Generally, other nerves compensate and the taste adjusts over time but again that is a slight risk from going too
hot or deep inferiorly when removing the tonsils.

Thank you and sorry for the wordiness.

September 30, 2011 at 1:42 am
(52) claudia says:

OMG!, after reading this I am so terrified now. My daughter is 5 years old she was due for a tonsil and adenoids surgery on 8-18-11. She was having nightmares about it and she would continuously say “I don’t want to die” so I became so terrified and canceled the surgery. She recently got a bad tonsil infection again and the Dr. recommended we get the surgery done a.s.a.p. But after reading this I still think I’m not ready!!!! . What do I do????????

October 17, 2011 at 11:18 pm
(53) Theresa Augustine says:

Im very sorry for your loss… I myself loss my son in 2004. To the same surgery. For years I was told he passed from pneumonia, 7 yrs later I find out it was because he was a ultra rapid metabolizer of codine increasing the conversion of codine to morphine! He also suffered from sleep apnea, he was 2 yrs old. Your son is your forever guardian angel! My daughter is now following in the same steps as my son! So very scared!

October 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm
(54) ent says:

Please don’t be terrified but be SMART. Many individuals, (ravi, claudia) have given good advice. Keep in mind that in the ten years I have worked in the recovery room (of a surgical center that does roughly 5 or more tonsillectomies per day) I have only seen one patient bleed out. This patient was found to have a rare bleeding disorder. The ENT was able cauterize the bleed and the child spent the night in the hospital but that was all. It isn’t a surgery to take lightly but I hate that so many parents are petrified by my blog. My intent, and others who have commented here, is to inform you of the risk so that if you or your child does begin to bleed you can get immediate medical attention. I just know too many parents who will not push a reluctant doctor to take action. Be your child’s advocate! Again, you know your child best and you need to be their voice, if you feel or know something is wrong be a squeaky wheel until you get answers.

October 21, 2011 at 12:14 am
(55) Lisa says:

As a mother to a young daughter (who has “normal” tonsils) my heart BREAKS for those who have lost children and have otherwise had bad experiences with this surgery. I cannot imagine losing my child to anything, but losing them to a medical procedure that is supposed to IMPROVE thier quality of life is espeically painful.

I have had bad tonsils forever. Mine should have been taken out when I was young. Cryptic, bad tonsil stones, tonsillitis every month, you name it.

At the age of 40, my ENT told me they needed to go. He had done both my sinus surgeries, so I trusted him totally, still I was scared. I cancelled the surgery twice. Once coming within hours of having it.

Two months ago, I became so ill that I ended up in teh hospital, 103 fever and unable to take any food for a week. The pain was excruciating. My white count was almost 40,000. After a cat scan, they found an abscess in each tonsil. My ENT said, this is it Lisa, next time it may go into your blood.

Needless to say, I had my tonsils removed last Weds, Oct 12th at the age of 43. The past week has been rough, but not as bad as I thought. Last night while preparing to go to a movie, I started bleeding. It was from the scabs finally falling off. Day 7. I was petrified becasue the blood was so red, so much and coming so fast. It clotted within 10 minutes and I called my ENT. I coughed up some big blood clots later on.

Today has been fine. I see my ENT next week. I am hoping that I will not have any further issues.

The surgery is NOTHING to be taken lightly, no matter if the patient is achild or an adult. I was so scared of surgery until I had those abscesses and then although still scared, I knew I had to go through with it. Its terrible to be placed in that position.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you,


Lisa in Minnesota

October 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm
(56) Beatrice says:

I am so sorry to the mothers who lost their precious children! My daugher, 2 years and 3months, is due to have her tonsils removed on November 4th. She has extremelly large tonsils, sleep apnea, snoring, etc, and the ENT has adviced us that they need to come out.
After reading all the comments above, I’m extremelly terrified of this procedure, to the point of considering cancelling the op.
As we leave abroad, I’m flying home for the procedure (2 hour flight). I’m so scared of the post op bleeds and hemorrhage. Can anyone tell me how long after the operation they can occur? Also could someone advise on how many weeks I should wait before taking the plane again.

October 24, 2011 at 1:36 am
(57) Lisa says:


Hello everyone, I posted here the other night about my recent tonsillectomy at the age of 43. On day 7, I started to bleed, but it did stop.

On day 9, this past Friday, Oct 21, I woke up and was bleeding again. This time I could not get it to stop. It was brisk, and would not let up for the most part. I called the ENT nurse and then drove myself to the ER, which is only 4 blocks from my home.

Upon arrival, I knew that I was in somewhat of a bad way just by all the rushing around. The ER doc came in with the on call ENT who said that I was in that 1-2 percent bracket who have the post op bleeding and have to go back to the OR for cauterization.. It was my right tonsil bed and the same area that had bled only a day earlier.

He advised for the surgery saying that although the blood was venous, it is so close to a artery that I would be taking a chance by letting it go. I constnted to the surgery and was in the OR within a half hour.

An hour and a half later, I woke up in recovery, sleepy but very happy that the surgery was a success.

I am not 2 days post op emergencey surgery and am doing well. I follow up with my ENT in a week.

Scary, yes, but I am still hopeful that this surgery will be the end of my problems in the future.

Love and luck to all,


October 28, 2011 at 7:27 am
(58) Padraig McC says:

Hey, i got my tonsils out 18 days ago. I am 21 years old. I was surprised that I found the first week ok, however on day 6 i started to bleed. I went to the doctor on call she said it was normal and to drink cold water. That whole night i was coughing up blood. I went to my actual doctor the next morning as it had not ceased. She called an ambulance straight away and in the ambulance i coughed up a blood clot and started spewing blood. No doubt about it if i had have been at home I would have been a goner. I was rushed to hospital where they got me stable again and I was kept under 48hr supervision. The ENT consultant at the hospital asked me what medication I was on. I told him Difene. He was shocked as he said that difene causes blood vessels to break down and I should not have been taking it for so long. He was also shocked that i was given tea and toast immediately after the op as hot liquids are not recommended. While i was in the hospital another patient came in with the same problem from the same hospital. They should know what to do but it seems like they are getting it wrong at a costly price. Im fine now and the pain has subsided. However i waked up with a trail of blood going down my throat most mornings. Is this ok >? From reading this page i am starting to worry ..

October 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm
(59) taylors mom says:

I read this right before my almost 5yo daughters surgery, this scared me to death. I have anxiety anyhow and over react so this made me want to cancel her surgery. As of today we’re 16 days past tonsil and adenoid removal, went in never shed a tear the whole time. Only had a bit of blood at 5 days past due to her picking, that stopped, and few days ago another bloody nose, neither of which I feel had to do with surgery. Our only issue is THRUSH! She complained Meds burnt. But needed them for 5 days total then came off. Still some scabs but getting better. My prayers for your loss. Blessed I didn’t have issues as far as now. Thought id share my more positive story. She ate Popsicles, applesauce, pedialite, oat meal, eggs, coco wheats, mashed tators and stage 2 baby food for 2 weeks.

November 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm
(60) Tduet says:

Today is my daughter’s 4th day after tonsil surgery. I was just concern because when she passed a tissue in her nose today there was a lot of red blood on there. I called the Doctor he said that it was find??

November 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm
(61) taylors mom says:

Id say take your kid in if any tissue passes. My daughter had a bloody nose several times after surgery. Its been 6-7like weeks now she still has some, but using nasal spray and a humidifier helps.

December 6, 2011 at 10:41 am
(62) Lisa says:

I would advise any adult to think twice before having this procedure .

I used to suffer with tonsillitis on a regular basis and in the end my doctor suggested they were removed to stop the occurring problem .

I went in for my operation in February of 2004 aged 24 and although and was told the surgery was a sucsess . Although I was in a lot of pain I was allowed home the day after as I had my husband to look after me .

I spend my time relax for a quick recovery and didn’t go out through fear of infection. However roughly a week later I had just finished speaking with a family member on the phone and I had a funny taste in my mouth , I went to the bathroom and within minutes I was vomiting blood everywhere ! It was fresh blood and needless to say I was petrified . My husband took me straight back to the A+E department and after vomiting blood 6 times it stabilised itsself and stopped . I was given antibiotics via iv drip and was allowed home the following day and luckily I had no more problems .

The stories and the consequences of what could have happen scared me senseless . At the time my daughter was just 3 year old .

My condolences go out to the poor ladies that have lost their children like this .
I am pleased this artical is here as people need to be aware of the negatives and positives to this operation .

December 8, 2011 at 10:32 pm
(63) Tamara says:

A yr ago my daughter who was 10 had her tonsils removed on a tuedsay morning and the following sunday morning was rushed to the hospital via ambulance due to bleeding. She was in the er the night before due to bleeding but was told it was normal and was sent home. My daughter almost died because some doctors take the bleeding as no big deal. Thank God she is okay and my heart goes out to those who have lost a child.

December 9, 2011 at 9:59 am
(64) alexander says:

Im 21 and underwent a tonsillectomy on november 10th it was an out patient procedure the ENT was very quick and said i would be perfectly fine after. On day 9 i began to spit up bright red blood into my bathroom sink and drove myself to our local hospital, they tried to make me wait, i spit blood onto my hand and told the nurse “i need to be seen NOW!” they gave me a cup of ice and ambulanced me to a hospital that could stabilize me(45 minutes away luckily the bleeding subsided some) there i saw the ENt that performed the surgery. The Dr. administered silver nitrate to the bleed spots and decided to keep me overnight. I woke up at 3:30 am choking on blood and it took me nearly 10 minutes to find a nurse, when i did i told them to IV me and call the Dr. (in the mean time they were asking me insurance questions i was like uhm?? hello choking on blood!?) about 35 minutes pass of bleeding before the ENT arrived.(he lived about 5 mins away) went back into surgery and got re-cauterized, woke up in convulsions.(they said from the anesthesia) next morning ENT checked in and wanted to release me starting with “well i guess there goes my christmas cards huh?” i told him “no I’m not comfortable leaving until i know ill be alright” i stayed an extra 2 days. since then i had been living on ensure and yogurt with the occasional popsicle.

December 9, 2011 at 10:00 am
(65) alexander says:

Pt 2..
today i went in for a follow up (mind you its 28 days later) and he discovered I’m still not healing correctly and applied more silver nitrate to the wound site, i took a nap when i got home and woke up and the silver was gone (i think i swallowed it) I am afraid to sleep because of what’s happened previously, as well as I’m experiencing shooting pains from my neck through the bottom part of my jaw on my left side where the wound are is… ( i felt better before my follow up!!) as well as ear pain again and throat pain, also the wound site has swollen back up to a degree. I have no idea what to do because I’m in a rural area and he’s the only ENT we have. its roughly 6:51 am i guess ill wait and check with my regular Dr tomorrow. The ENT i have had said he hasn’t had this happen before and to start gargling salt water. the side thats been having problems he cut ALOT out of i can hold a mouth full of water in my new squirrel pocket! as i have been icing it daily due to fear of bleeding and lack of a competent hospital staff for about 60 miles. I feel like this surgery is going to be the end of me… i wish i would have stayed on antibiotics for the rest of my life, at least then i had a life and was 27 pounds healthier.

all of these stories are terrifying!!!! I’ve been reading these all night! I am deeply sorry for everyone thats had a loss or a horrific experience from this! sorry for being long winded but i am REEEAAAALLLYYY hoping someone can give me insight on what to do and what to watch out for when I’m checking myslef..

December 16, 2011 at 3:06 am
(66) Matt says:

My 28 month old son just had his tonsils and adenoids taken out, and if that wasn’t bad enough he had his circumcsion redone at the same time. He did really well before and after the surgery. We had a really good anesthesiologist who explained everything and allowed mom to stay with our son until he fell asleep. He was admitted to the hospital as standard procedure because of his age. His first pain medicine wasn’t until 12 hours after surgery and it was Tylenol. We live in a small city with a decent hospital, but no ENT doctor on duty (we had the surgery at a hospital 45 minutes away from home). I asked my ENT doctor what we should do if bleeding occurs and he advised to call 911 and have ambulance paramedics decide where to take our son based on the availability of ENT doctors. Can anyone advise of a better plan?

December 21, 2011 at 11:02 pm
(67) Jason says:

I am very saddened by the stories I have just read. My six year old son has just has tonsils and adnoids removed and tubes put in his ears. Today is day seven and I can’t go to sleep for the fear of something going wrong. I had my tonsils removed when I was six and don’t remember much other than the pain of eating afterwards. Today we took our son in for 1week checkup and the surgeon noticed a blood clot in his throat. He simply reached in his throat and pulled it out with some tweezers as if it was no big deal. He said to bring him back in a week for follow up. We have not seen any blood but are very concerned after reading what has happened to other children. Has anyone ever heard of this and what should we do. Again, I could not begin to understand the pain of losing my child but I pray GOD will ease your pain and give you peace. I will pray for each person who has written their story and thanks in advance for insight!

January 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm
(68) joe says:

These terrifying histories are not yet collected, analyzed and published in scientific journals which is overdue. You may contact JP Windfuhr who is an expert in that field.

January 15, 2012 at 12:51 am
(69) Evelyn says:

Hello my name is Evelyn and my 4 year old has his tonsils removed a week ago and is still in alot of pain well today i seen alot of white spots were his tonsils use to be its been a week and he wont eat nothin for me im not sure what to do plz give me so info I’M only 22 and im so worred abut my son

January 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm
(70) ent says:

The white spots you are seeing are most likely perfectly normal cauterized tissue and many people still don’t have an appetite at this point so my initial feeling is that your son is okay. HOWEVER, call your doctor if he develops a fever, stops urinating, has uncontrollable pain, or if you see bright red blood. It’s also perfectly okay to insist your doctor see him if you just can’t shake that gut feeling that there’s something wrong – you’re mom, you know him best. Better to be the “mom that whines” than to let something go wrong with your child!
Good luck!

January 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm
(71) Michelle says:

My 4 year old son died almost 4 years ago after his tonsillectomy. He had his adenoids out 8 months prior and was fine, then his tonsils got infected and he had severe sleep apnea. He was fine the first night home and then he was unconscious when I found him the second morning after being home. He ended up having pneumonia and they believe he had a prolonged seizure that caused the lack of oxygen to the brain. I still ask myself whether he may have been getting sick prior to surgery or if the pneumonia was obtained during surgery. It is surgery and I do believe these children need to be monitored at least for 24 hours post surgery.

February 1, 2012 at 8:46 pm
(72) Tadagrle says:

My 7 yr old daughter had tonsils and adenoids removed yesterday. Everything went great, she was smiling and eating popscicles before we left the hospital. Two hours after returning home she very suddenly through up more than a cupfull of bright red blood. Twenty minutes after that she was spitting mouthfulls of blood. The blood kept coming and coming and filling her mouth every 20 seconds or so. Doc said to meet him in the ER. She grew very pale and sweaty and become unresponsive, so we went by ambulance. Paramedics said her blood pressure was low…80 over something? She had to go back into surgery right away. Doc found a 2-inch blood clot in the back of her throat and when he suctioned it, blood started spewing from a vein. He was able to stop it (cauterized it) and suctioned lots of blood from her stomach! So, So scary and happened so fast. One minute she was fine the next bloody! If I had known then what i know now, I would not have gone through with the surgery. Now I am scared this will happen again when the scabs fall off! I will be watching her like a hawk until then! ENT said this happens in only 4% of cases. This happened just 5 hours after surgery. They need to go back to keeping patients atleast overnight!

February 6, 2012 at 6:14 am
(73) Shannon Puschaver says:

Thank you for this information and your blog. It’s words saved my son. Breck had adenoid and tonsils removed 9 days ago. We rushed him to the hostipal last night when he woke up coughing up blood. They did emergency suregery and removed a blood clot from one side and stopped bleeding to his artery on the other side of his throat. Beyond blessed this morning to have him with us. Thank you again.

February 12, 2012 at 2:45 am
(74) Ria says:

I just found out I will need to have my tonsils removed. I am 32 years old. The doctor asked if there was anything I wanted to know? I understood the procedure the what when and hows of the surgery all I suppose came to my mind to tell him was that I was afraid to have the surgery? The dickhead burst out laughing reassuring me that little kids get it done all the time, and I replied well their kids I’m not, I can actually understand the full context of what is to be done? He then continued to tell me I did not have to have the surgery done but that I would probably be on antibiotics for ever blah blah blah, I interrupted him stating that I did not indicate I did not want them removed but that I was afraid of the actual surgery? Well that was a few days ago since then I have been advised of a 1-3 month waiting list so I thought I’d look up more about the procedure hence bringing me here.

February 12, 2012 at 2:48 am
(75) Ria says:

Reading what others have written about their experiences old and young has definatly got me shitting (excuse my language) my pants but I guess I’d rather read all the info now then to experience it when the time came when I’d probably have no clue on what to do. I know everyones comments are about the aftermaths of the surgery but I guess my main concerns are praying that all goes well because I have 2 kids that are the world to me. I am so afraid of the surgery and right now I guess all thats going through my mind is that what was to happen if I did not opt for the surgery?? To be quiet honest Id rather take a lifetime of antibiotics then to have a procedure done that might help or could ultimately end my own life? I notice that you (ENT Person) do not really reply back to adults who have had their tonsils removed and their horror stories, and I know your not god so I’m not asking for a miracle to help me decide, I have collected more then enough information about the ins and outs of the surgery I guess what I’m wondering is if maybe if there were others out there that had real cares and concerns before going ahead with the surgery?

February 12, 2012 at 2:50 am
(76) Ria says:

Look at it like this….Lifetime on antibiotics probably not fixing the problem but hey delaying it and you get to see a few more Christmases OR take the chance it could be a horror story but ultimately turn out all right OR my story being added to the list of the other peoples stories we continue to read take a sigh feel for their families and proceed to scroll to the next one. On my journey for answers or maybe find articles to put my mind at ease it is quiet surprising to find the majority of horror stories then there are to find stories of “Happily ever afters” although there were a some what fortunate few who after going through hell did come out ok in the end but If they could go back before the surgery I’m pretty sure would have considered other alternatives. I hope at least after reading this comment before you scroll away to the next I have not offended, disrespected, bored you that maybe I have left a enlightening thought for you to consider. To be continued,,,,,,,,,,,,

February 19, 2012 at 11:36 pm
(77) Olivia's mom says:

My  6 yr old, Olivia, had her tonsils, adnoids removed &tubes on Jan 24. After complaining of pain I started research. I had idea about issues from this procedure.after reading the post I went to bed. in the morning i looked at my daughter thinking, she slept better last night maybe her day will be better. Then seconds later Olivia woke up splitting up blood. I could not believe this was happening. But I knew what to do because I read this post. I called 911 they took Olivia to ER. She was observed and let go.  I drove the doctor nuts, I called him 4 times that day, I was not convinced it was over.2 days later she seemed a little better. Maybe i overreacted. we went out to get some milk and things at the store. She was so happy to be out. We were out for less than 30 minutes.  in the car Olivia said she had a little blood. it was not much but twice in 2 days not good. I called 911. Before they arrived Olivia stopped bleeding.  But I was a wreck. I told them take  me to the children’s hospital downtown Atlanta. Nothing happened in the ambulance ride, Olivia was smiling. She fell asleep during the 40 minute ride. within 10 minutes of arrival Olivia was throwing up blood and blood clots as big as her hand. She was rushed to the operating room. We stayed 3 nites & had to get a blood transfusion.If not for a few key things I don’t think Olivia would have lived. First me standing up for what I thought needed to happen based on this blog, 2nd an incredible on call doctor who who had already started preparing for surgery based on my info and last but not least, God. 7 days post op from 2nd surgery. Olivia complained of loud noises,  her ears hurt more than her throat,She tires easily,voice is not the same.  Now 18 days post op she’s back to school & regaining strength. Parents please educate yourself, be prepared to go to battle for your child when necessary. Don’t back down even if everyone around you may think you are over reacting, your instinct will be right. 

February 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm
(78) katie says:

My 10 year old daughter bled on day 8 after her tonsillectomy. 9:00 at night. VERY SCARY! Thank god the dr. called us right back and told us what to do. She bled 3 times that night (1-12/ hours apart), and then threw up blood in the sink. We did not take her to the hospital because her bleeding finally did stop. WHAT A NIGHTMARE! I agree that these risks need to be spoken about BEFORE the surgery.

April 4, 2012 at 9:23 am
(79) Sam says:

My daughter just had her tonsils and adenoids out 5 days ago and let me tell you it is rough! She did good in surgery, but the recovery has been so so hard on us! I believe so strongly that parents are not fully disclosed about the facts. It may be because doctors don’t want to scare people or have them overreact, who knows. But I have been studying about this surgery and 1 in every 15,000 surgeries is fatal. That’s alot to me. This surgery is so close to major arteries. I just feel that parents really need to weigh everything out first and DO NOT rush into this. I wish I would have waited and tried other options first like testing for allergies to things like dairy etc. which can make tonsils and adenoids large and infectious. I wish I would have tried all other avenues first. This is just my opinion as every case is different. Bless all that have to go through with it.

April 5, 2012 at 1:16 am
(80) Lea says:

My 4 yr old son is scheduled for T&A surgery this friday 4/6/12. I cant go thru with it after reading this I am canceling his surgery right now (yes now at 12:15 am via voicemail). I am so sorry for the mother who have lost their children. My sons tonsills are huge and he snores and turns at night but I think I would rather have him that way then no way at all. Thank you so much for this article. God bless you all

April 7, 2012 at 9:06 pm
(81) Cody says:

I am 12 yrs old and I have already had a T&A, I am fine. But the thought that this could happen horrifies me, my life was very well at risk. I’m thinking about being a ENT when I grow up, but know, I don’t know. I don’t want to accidently end a kids life….

April 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm
(82) Kerie says:

I don’t know what to do, I had a T&A 4 days ago, i’ve been spitting up blood, alot. Last night I woke up with blood in my mouth, I was spitting it up for like 20 mins, there was no sign of blood so far today, I don’t know if I shld go to the E.R, someone please help me!

April 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm
(83) ent says:

Go to the E.R! Blood is a very rare and serious sight after T&A’s, I’m a professional, and trust me, bloods not normal! Don’t get panicked though, just stay calm, go to the E.R.

April 13, 2012 at 12:52 am
(84) angie says:

My 4 year old son is having his t&a removed on may first. I want to say thank you for this blog, as scary as it is it let’s me know what to look for! Thanks!

April 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm
(85) ent says:

Angie, just watch for bright red bleeding, that is usually the problem, also don’t worry about your son, most of these procedures go well, but still be careful.

April 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm
(86) Jack says:

My son died after having his tonsils removed, God bless him

April 18, 2012 at 11:32 pm
(87) Angel says:

These stories are heart wrenching. My Son with Down Syndrome had his tonsils & adnoids removed when he was 5 and tubes placed. Prior to this he had ear infections continuous and strepth throat every month. He also had the snoring (sleep apnea). He was fine after this surgery. For 2 years he has not had any ear infections, but recently (the last 2 months) have been very difficult. He started gettiing ear infections again and had strepth throat 8 times in the last 2 months (and has his tonsils & adnoids out), I took him to the pediatrician over and over to get antibiotics, then ER twice. Finally took him back to the E N T dr to find out he has swollen tonsils (known as a 3rd tonsil???), So now he is taking reflux med’s to get the swelling down and see if this will treat it. If this does not clear up in 3 months, he will have a biopsy of his throat and tongue area. I am scared out of my mind and have not seen anything like this in these blogs. Has anyone had this experience AFTER having the T & A removed? I asked the ENT if this was common in Down Syndrome children and he said NO.. Any advice would be wonderful.

April 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm
(88) ent says:

Angel, hang in there! Ear infection, I have never heard of such a thing after T&A’s, just listen to your doctor, make sure he is a trusted doctor, as for the ear infections, I very much doubt it has to do with his T&A since it happened two years ago just be careful, listen to the doctor, please keep posting on here, i would really like to know your sons progress over awhile.

April 21, 2012 at 1:26 am
(89) Dwayne says:

Hello everybody. I’ve been reading all of the posts from people with their own or loved one’s experiences. My heart goes out to those mothers who lost their little one’s. I live in Calgary, AB. I am a 28 year old male and have suffered from enlarged tonsils, frequent sore throats, tonsil stones, etc. I was diagnosed with moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea 3 years ago. I would gag and snore really bad when I was sleeping and stop breathing at times. My wife is the one that noticed this. I now use a CPAP machine and it has help lots. I recently seen my ENT and he said my tonsils are some of the largest he has ever seen. I have to have them out and I am quite nervous. I also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and that doesn’t help any. I am scared that my tonsils being so big will make me bleed bad when I have the surgery. My ENT said out of the 25 years he has been doing these surgeries he has never had a patient with complications. I totally trust him but I’m still scared. More so of general anesethia and going to sleep and never waking up. Afraid of them giving me too much. I know I must sound like a big baby and my anxiety disorder doesn’t help things but I have to have this done

April 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm
(90) ent says:

Dwayne. If you trust your doctor then listen to him, I have never known for big tonsils to cause a lot of bleeding, Just get it done if you’re sure, then just be careful, watch for bright red bleeding. As for the anesthesia, you’ll have to make that decision for yourself, it is rare that people don’t come out of it but it does happen. It’s your decision, if it were me I wouldn’t worry. If your worried that the doctors will give you too much, don’t worry they are professionals, so unless you don’t trust your doctors, don’t worry. I expect for you to post back on here, I’d like to know how things went after the surgery.

April 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm
(91) Kristin (ENT) says:

Since there seems to be another person posting under the name ENT let me clarify, I am the site moderator and I authored this blog.

Angel, you should know that because your son was so young when he had his surgery and still actively growing it is not uncommon for some tonsil tissue and almost definitely the adenoids to grow back. The adenoids become enlarged and prevent the Eustachian tube from draining properly causing the infections. I have an article here about it somewhere. ..Also, my daughter had her adenoids out when she was 2-3 and had to have them out a second time when she was 5 because her ears were full of fluid —–again. She has now had 5 surgeries and she is 5 years old. Unfortunately, children who are prone to ENT problems-which seem to be more common in children with Down’s Syndrome or autism (like my daughter) -often have recurring episodes until they are adults. As their head/skull/face becomes larger the Eustachian tube starts to run at a more vertical position and more room is created for the sinuses to drain as well. My daughters problems are directly related to her small size and petite facial features. Her ENT says everything is kind of just smashed together in there leaving nowhere for the fluid to drain properly.

Dwayne, to my knowledge the size of your tonsils does not increase your risk of bleeding. Bleeding after a T&A usually occurs because one of the arteries that run right next to the tonsils has been compromised. Therefore, you should be more concerned with choosing a skilled surgeon who uses the right technique and following your doctors instructions on how to care for yourself after the surgery. Do not take any ibuprofen, aspirin, vitamin E, or fish oil for at least 2 weeks before your surgery. These medications can thin the blood.

April 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm
(92) Kristin (ENT) says:

Something I don’t think I’ve said before – if you have a small child who has had their tonsils removed and they are complaining about a lot of pain that is not resolved with pain medication (even Tylenol) you need to suspect that there is something seriously wrong.

Parents are absolutely floored at how quickly children bounce back from this surgery. The younger they are the better they do. It doesn’t count for adults (adults are babies when it comes to pain, I’ve taken care of toddlers who have had open heart surgery with a full midline incision and after some Tylenol they are sitting up in their crib and laughing – an adult would never do this!)

Any child under the age of 8 or so, they generally require only a few doses of pain medication and your biggest worry is trying to get them to rest and not be TOO active. The older my daughter gets the longer it takes for her to bounce back (which she still does very fast). After the first couple surgeries she literally could have gone to school a couple hours after (obviously I wouldn’t send her but she was that OKAY). …..AND children this age to not lie about being in pain, if your doctor blows you off then they are most likely not a good doctor and you should call a different doctor or just go to the ER.

Also I feel bad that some people post b/c they are currently bleeding after a T&A asking for advice but I often don’t get notified of their messages until 4-5 days later. If you are reading this and are currently bleeding, stop reading and go to the ER! It’s just not worth the risk.

April 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm
(93) Cody says:

Hi, um can I ask a question please? I plan to be an ENT when I grow up and this blog freaks me out. I don’t like the thought of accidentally ending somebody’s life. So I ask, how rarely does this happen? Should I worry about it in the future, also I feel bad for all the parents whose children have died, may god bless you, so please ent Kristin, can you answer?

April 26, 2012 at 12:32 am
(94) Tracy says:

Hi, My 12 y.o daughter just had her tonsils and adenoids removed. She had size 3.5 tonsils on a 1-4 scale. She had such bad snoring and apnea it was necessary for her. I did my research and found an excellent ENT. He fully explained everything to her and I and really made her a part of the process. He explained complications and also explained he has never had anyone have any serious problems. He even said he would give me patient references which I did call and they were excellent of course. He just was an open book and I appreciated that. The nurse at the hospital did check her mouth several times before we left and showed me what I was looking at and to check it at home and explained what I was looking for and what was normal after surgery. She even had me snap a pic with my Iphone so I could compare when I got home, which I never even thought of. She was excellent and the ENT was as well. He came and checked on her before we left after surgery too. My daughter was off her pain meds by the 3rd morning after surgery and really did well. I’m so glad I did my research and didn’t just go to whoever my PCP decided was good enough.

April 29, 2012 at 6:00 am
(95) Stacey says:

I am so sorry to all the families who have lost children to tonsillectomy.

I didn’t have a great experience having my tonsils removed, it was the most terrifying experience of my life. 7 days after having my tonsils removed, I’d started to feel a bit better. I could open my mouth a little more, I could speak better, so I thought things were getting better. (I constantly had tonsillitus, every few weeks, which is why I was determined to have them removed) at about 6pm that day I started to bleed a little, but it was only a small amount and it stopped after a few minutes. I was told this was normal due to the scabs falling off but something deep down told me it wasn’t the end of it and I was right. Later that night, at about 10pm blood started to pour from my mouth, it was all over my bed, clothes etc and my Mum rushed me straight to hospital (luckily I only live around the corner). When I got there they said it was common etc. But I didn’t believe them, it seemed worse than what I’d read. Over the next 2 hours I started bringing up blood clots, and they were huge, like apple size. It was so scary. I had several doctors checking on me but they were adament it would calm down. I continued bringing up blood, clots etc and the doctors moved me to a ward at 4am, from then it got worse and I bled non-stop, I didn’t have chance to breathe properly. My parents were getting angry with the doctors as it felt as though they weren’t helping me. I’d had 2 blood transfusions whilst on the ward, and at 6am they eventually took me to surgery where they gave me another blood transfusion and eventually stopped the bleeding. I consider myself lucky. Although what I went through was horrendous, I am lucky enough to of survived. It was very hard for months afterwards. My best advice to anyone is to trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to challenge the doctors.

April 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm
(96) Rosa says:

My heart foes out to you all …boy I cant stop crying. My 7 year old daughter had her Adnoidectomy on Wed. April 25th. She did quite well so I send her to school on Fri.27th was it too soon? well then on Saturday i took her to to a state park just to walk around and enjoy the scenery. By Friday night she complained of stiff neck yes a severe on although she is on tylenol. She woke up today Monday 5 days post OP and she still has stiff neck but I sent her to school with a note for the teacher to call me if i need to pick up…Reading all this post i can not stop to tear up I am so scared.

May 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm
(97) Christi says:

Rosa, my 5yr old son just had a T&A with incisions placed in his ears to drain fluid…no tubes. He is STILL out of school, not because he is doing poorly but because I am well aware of all the stories where people thought things were fine and things turned for the worse. I have also had two c-sections and when I tried to do too much too soon…I regretted it. I took FMLA at work to protect my job and had my boy excused for two weeks. Between scabs falling off in the second week and the possibility for infection in a very DIRTY place like school, I have decided to keep him home for 14 calendar days, whether he needs it or not. Get your child’s work from school and let her do it at home to avoid falling behind and keep him/her in a semi-controlled environment where no one will care for him/her like you will.

May 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm
(98) Christi says:

I would like to know how long after t&a surgery is it normal for your child to have a stuffy head with nasal voice and hearing difficulty? We are on day 8 and he sounds terribly stuffy and can’t breathe in through his nose. There is no discharge/mucus draining forward and if he had post nasal drip with a sore throat I’m not sure he’d be able to tell the difference between that and his tonsil pain.

May 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm
(99) ent says:

Hi Christi,
There is no concrete answer to this question but I think it’s still early to be concerned. Give it another week and if it’s still a problem when you go in for your follow up appt. make sure to let your doctor know.

May 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm
(100) Amanda says:

Now I am terrified. We took my son to an ent today for his sleep apnea and scheduled him to have his tonsils and adenoids removed in 2 weeks. The doctor did say that he could have some bleeding in the 2 weeks after the surgery and that we would just have to bring him in to have either stitches or have it cauterized. I know this is rare, but as a mother, you don’t want to take chances. What should I do?

May 19, 2012 at 2:51 am
(101) Logan says:

My 5 1/2 year old had T/A removed w/ tubes inserted 5 days ago. We are tapering off the pain meds ( Motrin and tylenol w/ codene) and so far no bleeding issues. Currently he is extremely congested with thick brown/yellow mucous discharging from his nose and very thick clear stringy mucous coming from his throat that is constantly causing him to gag/cough especially at night. He still has a very difficult time sleeping due to snoring and apnea (he was starting to get sick/congested 4 days before surgery). The question is, is this mucous from the throat normal and is there anything that can be done to loosen it get rid of it? Currently we are trying to wash his mouth out and encourage him to spit. Is that ok?

Finally, since he is not eating anything solid for several days it’s been 5 days since he had a bowel movement. We are giving as much fluid as we can but should we be concerned? I know the pain meds will cause him to be constipated but I did not know, given the conditions if this is typical. Thank you for your help!

May 19, 2012 at 8:48 am
(102) Amy from Toledo, OH says:

I am so sorry for the parents that have lost their children. I wanted to share my experience about my daughter Lily. I also wanted everyone to know that I am a respiratory therapist. When Lily was 4 years old we took her to the ENT and it was determined that she needed a T & A removal. We had it done on a Monday morning. After the surgery the ENT Dr said to me, “Don’t look in her mouth it looks worse than it really is……” I am so trusting….I wish I had looked in her mouth right then and there. So we took her home and she seemed okay at first. Then she started refusing to drink and take meds…..It was awful and by Friday she was throwing herself on the floor screaming. During this time I had called the doctors office several times and the nurses had blown me off. Finally my husband took Lily in his arms and sat down with her. I asked Lily where does it hurt and she kept pointing to her mouth. I looked at her and said, Lily do you mean your throat?” pointing to my own throat and she shook her head no. My husband said, “wait a minute.” He went and got a spoon and a flashlight. We looked in her mouth and on her tongue was a burn. We immediately took her to a different hospital.

May 19, 2012 at 8:48 am
(103) Amy from Toledo, OH says:

I didn’t bother calling the ENT. I took her to where I worked which I knew had an excellant pediatric ICU and physicians that I knew and trusted. (I love working for St Vincent:)) In the ER they sent out labs and found that Lily was severely dehydrated. She was admitted for 4 days. The head of the pediatric department was upset and came to look at Lily when he heard about it. He documented for us that it was indeed a thermal burn and on Monday sent us directly to her ENT from discharge from the hospital. Of course he denied everything and actually walked out. I would have loved to punch his lights out. We left and got a lawyer out of Columbus, OH. In the end, we moved to another state, right after it happened and we let it go…to this day I wish we had not and had sued the pants off that JA. Lily has since been hospitalized for strep throat at the same hospital that she had her T & A surgery….we were home visiting. Her WBC was 33,000 and it scared the ER dr enough that he put her on IV antibiotics…he thought it was her appendix…without pain. He kept her for 23 hours of observation. That was when she was 8. She is now 14 and I am ever so grateful to have my Lily girl. Again I am so sorry for these parents. I have to agree Drs seem very callous and think its such an easy surgery. They forget that young children don’t understand what is going on just that it hurts. It should be mandatory that all parents and patients are verbally told and given written explanation of the complications of this surgery and what to do in an emergency. Period.

May 19, 2012 at 9:06 am
(104) Amy from Toledo, OH says:

After reading more of the other families entries….its upsetting me more and more…..I was lucky….I took Lily to the hospital I worked and the ER doctor was a friend’s husband….so he listened and took labs and found her severely dehydrated….if I hadn’t done that I wonder what would have happened??? To have doctors not listen to parents is heartbreaking…..

May 21, 2012 at 3:27 am
(105) sarah says:

I can’t really relate to any of your stories but I just want to say for all the moms who are worried while it has this as a possible risk, it isn’t considered to be common. Everyone I know who had their tonsils out had never had issues with bleeding.
I personally just got mine and ny adnoids out last year and never ran into such problem, my doctor gave me medicine for pain and it work very well it simply felt like a very slight sore throat. My ent had me stick to scrambled eggs and all, but I even cheated and started eating more solid foods before he said I could. He did talk to me about bleeding, but it never happened and of the tons of people in my family who had them removed as well not one of us has had this happen.
My tonsils were massively cratered and adnoids enlarged so this was the best thing ever I could smell better, for the first time in my life I didn’t have a stuffy nose and this year I haven’t had strep throat or tonsilitis once, last year is get them as soon as getting off the antibiotics. I know you can’t totally discuss it with your children when they are as young as some of yours but not being able to breathe well or sleep well, and being miserably sick all the time or else living on antibiotics us not exactly enjoyable, and yes I understand neither are the risks, but idk when I thought it out being the one experiencing the horrible side effects and knowing the low likely hood as well as the signs to watch for I didn’t see a reason not to. Make sure your doctor properly informs you and seems to genuinely see that the risks are possible though so if they occur you get the help you need

May 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm
(106) leli says:

Im so scare my son has surgery tomorrow after reading all of this comments im not sure what to do

May 25, 2012 at 11:40 pm
(107) neici says:

My son has surgery on may 30th im freaking out. but his is needed. I AM IN TEARS TERRIFIED. BUT I WILL SAY THANK NOW I KNO WHAT I NEED TO DO TO POSSIBLY SAVE MY CHILDS LIFE…

May 27, 2012 at 11:48 am
(108) Isa's mom says:

My heart truly goes out to the parents who have lost a child! This blog has me so scared.. my 10 year old dau just had her tonsils removed 4 days ago and she seems to be healing ok (she is playing on her laptop in bed next to me). Of course, she is in pain associated with the surgery, but she is not reeling over in pain. In reading these comments, bleeding can still occur well over a week after surgery. In the last couple days, I have asked my dau to open her mouth wide so that I can see with a flashlight; she says it is too painful to open that wide and I have yet been able to look inside. I am horrified!

May 28, 2012 at 1:47 am
(109) APRIL says:

My 21 yr old son just has his tonsils removed, he was feeling sick and in a lot of pain 8 days after surgery, we took him to ER in the AM and were told “oh, thats normal” about 5 hours after that he started vomiting blood up and clots, a lot of blood. we took him back to ER where he got 3000 mls of blood pumped out of his stomach, another surgery and a hospital stay. its hard to tell how much you are really bleeding, a lot of it goes into your stomach. my advice if there is blood that is not stopping , head straight to the hospital.

May 31, 2012 at 10:00 am
(110) Susan says:

My 18 year old son had a tonsillectomy in 2004. He bled in recovery, was reintubated and returned to surgery for stitches. He was discharged the same day.

He had horrible pain. The doctor would not prescribe something stronger.
A day and a half later, he vomited blood — lots of blood. He was returned to the hospital that did the surgery.

At that time, I found out that he lost a LITRE of blood on the day of his initial surgery. The second surgery on the day of the tonsillectomy had been omitted from the record. The blood loss was omitted too. There was an addendum added when he had a full bleed.

He was transferred to a speciality hospital where he had an angiogram and catherization with embolization. His left external caritod artergy was injured and coils were placed in his neck.

He was doing well the next day. Was writing up a storm on his pad (he was still intubated and could not speak). He told me he thought he was going to die, that he was choking on his blood.

He had pain and the nurse refused to give him medication. I insisted — he had been through enough.

The hospital gave him toradol for pain. A great pain medication, but should have not been given because he had lost so much blood.

He bled from his rectum the following day and suffered cardiac arrest. But that’s not the end of his story.

They revived him, but he had been “out” for 10 minutes. He survived but with massive brain damage. My beautiful son, a freshman in college, majoring in math and Japanese, was a vegetable.

The bleeding never stopped. He developed infection and his blood stopped coagulating.

Two weeks later he died.

10/10/85 – 5/21/12
Always loved
Never forgotten

June 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm
(111) Rosanna says:

I am so sorry for all of you who have lost a child to T/A. I am very thankful to have read this blog so thank you for writing it. I think I would’ve also opted out of not having this surgery had I know the high risks involved. They do tell you to check for bleeding and to call them in case there is fever over 101.0, pain that isn’t alleviated by medications, bright red blood that lasts more than a few minutes or if more than 2 teaspoons of blood. However they should reiterate why it is so important to do so and what could possibly happen if you don’t check their throats. I was under the impression that I didn’t have to look in the back of her throat and that all I was looking for was blood when she spits after brushing her teeth. It is very upseting because they are playing w/our children’s lives by note telling us to play doctor & to check their throats.

June 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm
(112) Rosanna says:

Part 2: I also didn’t get Tylenol w/codeing for my daughter. My daughter Giselle had her surgery this past Monday, June 11, 2012. I thought this was a very light and uncomplicated surgery. I was more worried about her going under with the anesthesia. I figured once out of surgery we’ve made it. Boy was I wrong! Kristin, I can’t thank you enough for this article! I am going to be more vigilent since this is the 2nd day post-op and watch her like a hawk. I found your article because I was looking for advice on foods to give my daughter. She is now tired of mac-n-cheese & eggs. She is still eating her popsicles, jello, pudding and applesauce. Any other suggestions from you or anyone else on here? Any advice is greatly appreciated. So far we haven’t had any complications for now. I pray to God things continue to be good. By the way I asked the ENT when we would be seeing her again & she said we didn’t have to see her unless we had issues or wanted to. My first reaction was what? How can you say that? Don’t you want to make sure she is healing properly? Is this normal protocol or is this just a bad doctor? Either way before getting discharged from the hospital they scheduled a follow-up appointment w/her on June 28th (2 1/2 weeks post-op).
@ Becky, I hope your daughter is starting to feel better. I’m sorry you had to go through that. At least now we know what to do to preserve our child’s life.

June 19, 2012 at 1:01 am
(113) Anna says:

First off, my deepest sympathies to the parents who have lost their children. I cannot imagine what that must be like. Thank you for sharing your stories.

Secondly, I’m nearly 35 years old and I had tonsils out 7 years ago due to sleep apnea. Actually I also had a septoplasty with a reduction of my turbinates at the same time. I did v well post operatively and my quality of life improved dramatically as another poster. I was I also have to back up what ENT2 said. These are done literally in the thousands every day in the US. The majority of them are uneventful with no complications. A small percentage of them will have minor to major complications. Regardless of what anyone says, there is NO guarantee to surgery. That is why consents to surgery exist to notify you of that which includes bleeding and death. Sometimes it’s the doctors fault and sometimes it’s not. It just happens unfortunately. My surgery was v successful but I was also v lucky to have an excellent charismatic doctor who truly cared for his patients and always went that extra mile for them.

So parents, I wouldn’t do it unless your child really needed it. And even then, do your research on docs, get second opinions hell even third opinions until your satisfied. But always keep in mind there is no guarantee to surgery and at the same time, the risk is v v low. Hope that helps.

July 6, 2012 at 8:32 am
(114) ellenna mcghie says:

Just another example os the atrocious US health system and it’s greedy doctors. Laser surgery is completely contra indicated in a child of this size, totally, but more than likely more expensive so the doctors recommended it despite the additional risk and a child lost their life. This is why you need a state health system like the NHS where doctors are not financially rewarded for operations. That is the only way you can ensure you get the best EVIDENCE based care. Not the most expensive treatment available. This child was given an unsafe procedure. Her doctors should be struck off

July 20, 2012 at 12:48 am
(115) Shaya says:

my son is almost 3 years old and has had these knots in the back of his neck for almost 2 years.. the dr (Scott M McClintick of joplin MO) has done a few blood test on him and again to reasure me that these “swollin limpnodes” were not caused from cat scratch fever, staff, tb, tho my son was diagnosed w mrsa at the age of 6 mo. ne who his surgery is friday the 27th to remove the big one.. however they do kinda move under the skin. im needing a secong opinion on this surgery. as a mommy i am frightend.. the dr said it is just a little incision and the sucker should just pop right out.. how do i kno its the right thing for my 2 yr old son to be put under and cut on???? i need help im only 19 and i have 2 babies and 2 step kids.. and this is by far the hardest decision ive had to make.. the dr seems very nice and caring but how do i kno???? please help me with your opinion

July 21, 2012 at 9:53 pm
(116) j fisher says:

I was on your site researching risk involved w/ tonsillectomy because a 5 year old boy in my community died yesterday after having his tonsils removed 24 hr earlier. no known reason yet but was sent for autopsy his mom went to his room to administer med at 2:30am and was unable to arouse him but called 911 but he died before ambulance could arrive. I was so shocked as his family because I thought it was a routine procedure. reading all of these sad stories has me realize that it nothing routine about a tonsillectomy. my prayers and heart go out to all families for their loss of their family members

July 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm
(117) shae says:

My heart also goes out to those that have lost children after this surgery .
My daughter who is just two years old has to see an ENT on wed. She has had tonsilitis pretty much constantly since she was eight months old , has repeated ear infections , bilateral glue ear and sleep apnea . Im pretty certain the doc will say she needs the surgery .
I want to thank each and everyone of you that has posted about their child’s experience. I now know what to look for , even though some of these posts freak me out I feel reassured that I will know what to do if something goes wrong .
A question I hope someone can help me with . My daughter still has a bottle of milk when she goes to sleep or when she is upset , will she be able to have this after surgery ? I know as soon as she wakes she will ask for it :(

August 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm
(118) terri says:

My 4 yr old grandaughter Journee passed away in her sleep after coming home from hospital afyer having tonsil and.adnoids out and tubes put in ears. It has been almost 18 mo.and still no real ans. Cause of death…complications of surgery. Medical examiner says infection that caused pnemonia….really she was released from hospital at noon and back at emergency at 6pm and home sleeping at 10pm and gone by 6 am.when we woke up to our daughters blood curdling .

August 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm
(119) Trisha-Rdg,Pa says:

I am sooo terrified i am sick to my stomach, and am most def canceling my 3 year olds surgery that is schedule for the 17th of augest… This is supposed to be a surgery to BETTER your child NOT make them worse or even die! My daughter has a snoring problem but i honestly dont think it is that bad that i will even consider her dieing, she is my world, the air i breath- If she would pass away i believe i will to from a broken heart… This is soo horrible that this has happened to some moms out their, I pray for healing for your heart. Thank You all soo much for these comments and helping me make up my mind.

August 16, 2012 at 2:30 am
(120) Dwayne says:

Finally had my tonsilectomy this morning and am doing great! :) having a good 25 year experienced ENT that is confident really helps. He came and checked on me 5 hours after the surgery and said my tonsil beds looked good. I also have a follow up in 3 weeks with him.

August 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm
(121) marie says:

My daughter has been snoring loudly -most likely sleep apnea. I am very scared of the surgery. Her ENT dismissed any risks “It’s an outpatient surgery”
We have gone to a good chiropractor who taught us some accupressure points this has reduced snoring by 20-30% We are now trying to reduce possible allergens. Using a chemical free fragrance free laundry detergent has helped noticeably. We have switched to raw milk. We are looking into homeopathic “meds”And we are more careful with her diet. It is a learning process for us…..So, she is STILL snoring but it has been reduced greatly. We are concerned about ill health affects of snoring/sleep apnea, but want to view surgery as a LAST resort.
Thanks for all the helpful info. My heart just breaks for the parents that were doing their best to help their darling child and now suffer the worst loss imaginable!

August 27, 2012 at 12:23 am
(122) Kim says:

My 23 yr old daughter had her tonsils removed 3 days ago. She is sleeping a lot and her dad has been taking care of her until this week. I will be watching her closely the next few days. Hopefully she will recover quickly with few complications.

August 28, 2012 at 11:31 am
(123) Nicole says:

My 3 year old son Owen had his tonsils and anoids out on June 8th. On the Friday after his surgery Owen started bleeding from his mouth, he soon started gagging and choking on the blood, by then it was bright red and really thick. The nurse told me to get to the ER as soon as possible, which is 30 minutes away from our home! the dr looked at him for a split second and said all was normal and sent us home.The next evening around 6pm it happened again, this time more blood than before and massive clots. I got Owen in the car and rushed back to the ER where the same ER doctor was on call and again looked at Owen for a quick second and said all was normal. I kept telling the dr that Owen had lost way more blood than the first time and he kept telling me that this happens itsa ll normal and he will be fine!! Owen was sent home for the ER for a second time! At midnight Owen woke up screaming and I followed a trail of blood from his room to the bathroom. When I got into the bathroom the whole floor and walls were splattered with bright red blood, the toilet and my son were covered in blood! Owen had passed out and had no color to him. my husband and I rushed Owen to the hospital for a 3rd time. They rushed to get blood work and an IV put in.The whole time in the ER for the 3rd time, the dr kept appoligizing and telling me how sorry he was that this happened, that was not normal and something was seriously wrong with my son, at that point I couldn’t look him in the eyes anymore, all I wanted to do was punch him, I was so mad at him for not listening to me the first 2 times and not looking at Owen further and doing blood work. Owen was admitted to the hospital and had a blood transfusion, they said his blood levels for below a 6!!! Owen had lost over half of his blood supply, but they kept telling me that it was normal!! Owen was in the hospital for 4 days and is doing much better today!!

August 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm
(124) ent says:

That is one of the scariest stories I’ve ever heard because you did just what you should have and the ER sent you home, yikes! Did you know how serious post-op bleeding could be at the time this happened or only after you’d talked to the nurse? Did you ever try to contact the surgeon? I’m just curious. I hope your son recovers quickly, you guys are very lucky as I’m sure you know from reading some other comments on this post.

I don’t blame you. I think this surgery should be a last resort. Just remember that the long term effects of snoring (sleep apnea) can be very harmful as well. Hopefully you guys are able to do without it, but if it does come down to a tonsillectomy get a different surgeon who takes post-op bleeding seriously!

September 13, 2012 at 9:05 am
(125) kudzai says:

My baby is going 2moro for her surgery , just stumbled onto ths link and it freakin terrified me yoooo !!

September 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm
(126) marcia says:

Hi, I am a mom of 3 and have never had any problems with tonsils until recently and am seeking some advice. My 3 year old son has large tonsils, and for the past week will not eat solid foods. The only thing that he will eat is pudding and yogurt. He tells me that he will choke if he eats “real food”. We were seen today by out dr and referred to an ENT. The ENT stated that his tonsils are massive and stated that he probably does feel like he is choking when he eats real food because of the size of his tonsils. He gave us a prescription for nasonex and prednisolone to see if the inflammation and stated that he would see us back in 3 weeks. When asked what to do to get him to eat, he stated just to let him eat pudding and yogurt until the follow up. Any advice from anyone????

September 25, 2012 at 10:04 am
(127) Tan says:

Hi ,
I have four children and they have all been very ill with tonsillitis etc my eldest had hers out and day 10 a bleed went to A &E and sent home to gargle she was 8 . Three days later another bleed much worse blood pouring out and no sign of stopping went to hospital again and in for three days, what’s interesting is they never took any blood etc. Then on the 10th sept my two year old son had his op both taken out and back in on sat 22 nd by ambulance due to a massive bleed then another whilst waiting in A&E that was much worse and he had to have fluids and drugs to stabilise him. His blood count is down to 8 and he has been given extra iron and massive amounts of antibiotics he looks awful but released home. I am terrified last night he vomited four times and has a bad stomach still vomiting luck no blood but scared that it will trigger it off again.when will this nightmareend! To those thinking about cancelling ops Don’t they need it done, my three year old had kidney problems that were because of rotten tonsils, I know how awful and frightening it all sounds but if your child is I’ll all the time then it must be done, just Watch your child particulars from day 9 to 14 if they are going to bleed then this is when it’ll happen . Good luck and make sure you have support.

September 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm
(128) Kristin (ENT) says:

Wow Tan, did they test your children for any bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or von Willlebrand disease? The probability of them both hemorrhaging like that is (supposedly) low, I would make sure they test them for clotting disorders.

Also, you bring up a very good point. Chronic strep infections can lead to permanent kidney and heart damage. I took care of many children with kidney problems from strep infections, including a 3 year old who lost both of his kidneys completely and almost died waiting for a transplant. For anyone who wants more info on this read Strep Throat Complications.

September 28, 2012 at 2:57 am
(129) Cristy says:

My grandson is scheduled for a T&A October 8th.. I am concerned cause he is only 13 months, but he has Sleep Apnea and I know the risk of long term effects of OSA is great also. Thanks for the information I will know what to look for and what meds to not have the doctor give him. He will be kept over night in ICU to be monitor before they release him after surgery :)

September 30, 2012 at 7:43 am
(130) Paula Weston says:

Very very saddened and upset to read the very sad stories of loss.

My 6 year old had his Tonsils out last Monday nearly a week ago (we are living in HK at the moment). I don’t know if his pain and his lack of recovery is normal.. I am desperate for advice. We stayed in overnight and we were discharged and he seemed to be feeling ok and even wanted a little bit of soft food on Wed. Since Thurs however he has been in horrendous pain and can’t do anything except lie on couch in day and he wakes up every few hours at night and has stopped speaking as in so much pain. I took him back to A&E to see if ok and said that the area wasn’t infected and he isn’t dehydrated so we came home but I don’t understand if this is normal to be in so much pain and to literally only drink two small cups of smoothies a day and sips of water a week later. I am worried about him, and now after reading these posts and worrying that he might start bleeding……. how do I know what is normal or not?

September 30, 2012 at 8:12 am
(131) Paula Weston says:

Also, I was just reading somewhere that if patient vomits after surgery and its red, not brown that is not great and my son did vomit loads after surgery and at the beginning it did have blood in it and it was red. Am I being paranoid? Advice would be helpful. So scary to not know if what you are experiencing is normal or not, especially in a foreign country. Many thanks

October 2, 2012 at 2:14 am
(132) Brittany says:

I came across this blog while looking for reasons why my son is coughing so much after surgery. The more I read, the more my eyebrows furrowed. I could not believe the number of children and people that have passaged away due to complications of this procedure. My son is four and got a t&a today. I am currently awake, watching him because after reading these stories, I now know how serious this is. My husband and I came into this completely blind because our son’s pediatrician recommended it. I want to thank everyone who shared their experiences and my heart weeps for the parents or grandparents who have lost their loved ones because of incompetent drs. God Bless you all.

October 8, 2012 at 2:12 am
(133) Kathi says:

I have four children. Three sons that had T&A’s as children. The first one at age 3 with ear tubes also. No complications. The second one at age 5 after being dx with sleep apnea and a speech disorder due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids. The third at age eight and turbinates were included in that surgery. I never worried because I thought the risk of bleeding was low. My daughter is 14 and is on 5th day post T&A, turbinates trimmed and sinuses cleaned out. She is doing great. Eatting soft foods and drinking a lot. No signs of bleeding. I am now nervous, but appreciate all of you for sharing and letting people know your experiences. I am scheduled for a lingual tonsilectomy this month and my cancel it. I can not seem to find any info letting me know if having a lingual tonsillectomy is higher risk then palatine tonsillectomy. I am so sorry for those of you that have had the terrible and heart breaking experiences, but thank you for reaching out and educating parents as to what to look for and to stand up to the medical staff.

October 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm
(134) Jenia says:

I am 19 years old I have been getting chronic tonsillitis since I was 18 I never had it before I was 18 I suffer from it about every month there was a time when I had it for over a month non stop I then got blood posning from it I then had it for another 6 months on and off but mostly on. I have already canceled an opp to get them out once and I’m waiting for another date but I do not want to do it. I am too scared and reading all of this has made me even more scared I don’t know what to do because I really hate that I get ill so easily but I am to scared and have major anxiety to get them taken out what should I do this makes me so sad and I have no idea what to do about it :-(

October 17, 2012 at 12:26 am
(135) kris says:

My son had his T&A at age 5 and had 0 complications or pain. He wa in and out and home within 2hrs. My 2 yr old is sceduled for tubes and tonsild next week. She had tubes and adenoids at 15 months with no complications. Ahe os being kept overnight because of her age though.

October 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm
(136) Jenn says:

My 4 yr old had his last year t and a now try say my 2 yr old daughter needs one probably after reading this I say NO and I wish I would have said no to my 4 yr old he had I stay a week because he refused I drink or take meds never again will I subject my child’s life I’m so sorry for those who have lost such a shame

October 28, 2012 at 4:07 am
(137) Kim says:

Im so sry for all the families losses….my son who is 8urs old had a T&A on October 22 2012 he is doing great now had to go to the ER for IV fluids cause he was scared to drink….we had a great ENT and his surgery was done at the eye ear and throat clinic which is all they do is surgeries on the throat eyes or ear….we are day 6 and doing good i just pray that he keeps improving and i prau for all on this blog as well…god bless u all

November 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm
(138) Donna says:

Until I just read this site I never realised the risks involved. Im so sorry to hear about the children that have died.

We live in the UK. On October 4th my 6 year old daughter had T & A and tubes put in her ears, 4 hours after surgery she was rushed back into theatre due to bleeding that wouldnt stop. Its now 5 weeks after surgery but she still can’t talk properly. It sounds like she is talking through her nose. Is this normal? I have tried to get the surgeon to take another look at her only to be told to ‘let nature take its course’ My daughter is crying all day every day and doesn’t want to go to school because she wants to be herself again. Its heartbreaking :-(

November 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm
(139) Lilly May says:

I am so sorry for all the heart aches your children encournered it has been eye opener. My son was a bleeder, my ENT doctor gave him vitamin k for three weeks before his surgery. Would that have helped just asking? I would say some doctors screw up don’t they know what they are doing or just think its no big deal. I’m thinking they should be going back to school and take another course again. Am I right or wrong?
When I was alittle girl a general practitioner did my mom’s just sitting in a chair I saw all that blood I took off. But mom came out okay the surgery was a success and that was in early twenties.


November 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm
(140) Jaclyn says:

Hi, my Son is going for surgery tomorrow morning to get a tonsilectomy adenoidectomy adn tubes in his ears, thankyou for all of your stories, im sorry for your losses, and im happy yet scared for this surgery! i know it will be better for him, but im soo nervous!!!

December 5, 2012 at 9:38 am
(141) shae says:

My two yr old daughter goes in for her surgery in the morning ( its currently 1.30am I can’t sleep lol) . She’s having her tonsils and adnoids out and grommets in . I’m so scared but I’m sure she will be fine .

December 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm
(142) Murielh2585 says:

My daughter was scheduled to have her tonsils out tomorrow morning. I came across this blog this morning after doing a google search for “recover time for a 4 user old after tonsils removed” I felt sick to my stomach. I was so ill informed of the risk of the surgery!!! I never could get a “peace” or good feeling about this surgery. I prayed many prayers about this and I truly feel God led me to this blog to save my daughter! When we went for pre-op they were just shoving papers in my face to sign and never went into
Any of the complications. As parents we are our childrens advocate and I feel so relieved that I did not go through with this procedure!! My daughter had never had any strep or tonsillitis either. They said it may help her ear infections. She hasn’t has one since June. My heartfelt sympathies and prayers to the parents that have lost their children to this. Thank you so mug for this blog!!! I can’t tell you enough thank you becaus wit may have spared my daughters life! God bless.

December 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm
(143) Amy says:

First I would like to express how truly sorry I am for the families that have lost their child after this “simple” surgery.
I am writing this 2 hours after my 5 yr old son was released from the hospital following an emergency surgery and 2 day stay. He had his tonsilectomy and adenoids removed a week ago today. Every day following the initial surgery have been extremely difficult, to say the least. On Wednesday evening he woke from a nap with blood in his mouth and then began coughing it up. The ENT Dr advised me to take him to the ER. While in triage he vomited up, what looked like a gallon of blood and clots. I know it was less. They rushed him back immediately and started an IV. His Dr came in within about 20 min and looked at him and took him in to cauterize 25% of the site where his tonsils had been and suctioned out the rest of the blood in his stomach. We stayed two nights in the pediatrics ward.
This whole experience has been a nightmare. But most of our problem has been my sons strong resistance to taking the medication and not drinking enough and staying hydrated. He had this procedure done because of sleep apnea. Had I known that it would get this bad afterwards I can’t say that I would have gone through with the original surgery, although I must admit he has never breathed so good in all his life.
I am terrified to be home and keep crying. I won’t leave his side for more than a potty break. I am being way more cautious this time with fluids and medication, making sure he is getting what he needs. At this point it’s almost like starting over with the healing. This is a very serious surgery and the recovery should not be taken lightheartedly. I am thankful my Hunter is doing better right now, but we still have a ways to go.
Thankyou for this forum and any advise will be taken seriously.

December 19, 2012 at 11:45 am
(144) Me says:


I have tonsil stones which is causing bad breath and was just researching and saw this. I am now really scared but terried of my breath. I need a resolve to this issue or my social life is non existent. So as soon as I can afford the surgery I will step out in faith and let God take care of the rest.

Am sorry for all your loss.

December 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm
(145) Rebecca says:

My 23 y/o daughter had her tonsillectomy 11 days ago. It’s been 11 days of the worst suffering I’ve ever seen. She’s had 3 episodes of spitting out huge clots with no intervention offered except to gargle ice water. She has had to borrow Vicodin from her boyfriend’s mom because her doctor refuses to adequately control the pain. If you know someone about to undergo this “minor” procedure, advise them to do research beforehand.

January 8, 2013 at 8:38 am
(146) Michelle says:

Ok I am so scared now!!! My 2 year old son is due to have his tonsils out and adenoids removed on January 18 now I think I need to cancel I do not want to take a gamble with his precious life!!! He has sleep apnea and does not breathe through his nose. The sleep apnea is not horrible any advice please I think I am really going to cancel it!!! Please help

January 12, 2013 at 12:01 am
(147) Don says:

Please wait if you can… (PT. 1)
I just lost my 5 yr old daughter (Jasmine… /Jaz) December 20, 2012. My wife and I asked a ton a questions and the doctors were sure that this is just an out-patient surgery. We wanted a hospital but we were both scheduled to be off from work for the week of Christmas and New Years. Jaz and I went to a new E.N.T. because my E.N.T.’s schedule had changed, so he recommended another E.N.T. from his team. My wife took Jaz the day of the surgery because I still had a couple of days to work before our break. (Quick reminder: I took Jaz to the E.N.T. for her initial evaluation but my wife took her to the surgery). My wife called after her surgery was complete and said that they also performed a Septoplasty on her. I said “What’s that… and why”? She said that the Dr. told her that this would help open her airway (please read up on Septoplasty’s). So now recovery is going to involve, recovery for her tonsils, recovery for adenoids, and recovery for the Septoplasty.Jaz came home. The first day tons of blood from her nose all day long. We called the On-call E.N.T. and he said this was normal (everything I’ve read since then say something else). Any, her throat was bothering her to the point that she didn’t want to drink or eat anything, but the Dr. said she must drink… if nothing else. The second day Jaz had a lot less blood in her nose but she threw up twice… no food… but a lot of mucus. We called the E.N.T. and they said that’s normal and he recommended a nausea medicine. Day 3 she wanted to eat a little and drink a little. (By the way here’s a list of the meds they wanted her to take: Tylenol with Codeine, Ibuprofen, nausea meds, medicated lollipop for sore throat, and standard over-the-counter saline). Note: I read one of the earlier story’s about someone who’s child had an issue with Tylenol with codeine. The entire time Jaz had a problem sleeping.

January 12, 2013 at 12:04 am
(148) Don says:

Please wait if you can… (PT. 2)
Note: I read one of the earlier story’s about someone who’s child had an issue with Tylenol with codeine. The entire time Jaz had a problem sleeping. Now on Day 3 she was finally sleeping. About 11:30pm I woke her up and said let’s head to bed. She went to the restroom, very drowsy, but we thought that was because she was still sleepy. She went to bed…. 2 hours later my wife was crying and shouting “SHE’S NOT BREATHING, HELP, SHE’S NOT BREATHING”. I jumped out of bed and tried performing infant CPR, but I could tell that it wasn’t helping. My wife had called 911 and they were there very fast. I knew there was nothing they could do. We went to the hospital and that was that…. I had lost my little princess. The Coroner performed and initial autopsy and sent off a ton of blood work. We’re still waiting on the official report. We did go in to speak with the Coroner’s and they are still at a lost.
My daughter’s gone and now we’re suffering. Wait until your children are older (unless absolutely necessary). Monitor you child constantly. Try to have it done in a hospital and demand to stay a week. That first week is very important.
There are a number of issues with our story. The Coroner’s were really concerned about the Tylenol with Codeine, the lollipops “TETRACAINE”, the Ibuprofen, and the Septoplasty in conjunction with the Tonsillectomy and the Adenoidectomy. Another issue… why did the Dr. perform the Septoplasty without discussing with me originally so that we could research it? This is a very serious surgery in itself. Those lollipops contain a very powerful drug. If your Dr. recommends this… just say no. Our “typed” post-op paperwork and pre-op paperwork states “Do not take Aspirin or Ibuprofen for 7-10 days after the surgery… but that’s what the Dr. and nurses told us to give her. And it’s written in on her paperwork.

January 12, 2013 at 12:06 am
(149) Don says:

Please wait if you can… (PT. 3)
Jaz… we miss you and we love you and we’re sorry that we didn’t read up more on this issue. But if we could save just one life… then we’ve done our job. I miss you Princess.

January 12, 2013 at 10:25 am
(150) Shannon Gordon says:

The posts here are mostly negative and scary. It is good to note all doctors and all hospitals are not good! Tonsil removal to stop Sleep apnea in children is necessary for a good portion of the human population; no surgery will doom the patient to a short life or an adult life on a Cpap machine. Tonsil removal to alleviate sickness should be evaluated over 2 years or you are taking a possibly unnecessary risk. I’ve been trying post my more positive story about how my son needed a tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy due to sleep apnea. We did a lot of research and prepared for 2 yrs. before we had it done at age 4.5 yrs. Surgery on a child less than 2 yrs seems like bad advice unless the child can’t survive the next day. I’m not sure if you can contact me though this site, but I want you to know tonsillectomy involves a long 2 week recovery and you must be prepared for the worst. But, my son didn’t die.

January 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm
(151) Don says:

I think that this site has been very helpful in helping families vent their frustrations, tell their stories, and bring awareness to those who are getting prepared for different types of outpatient surgeries. There are plenty of websites endoresing the positve side of having your tonsils removed. I wish we would have seen this site before our daughter went in for her surgery.

January 21, 2013 at 4:02 am
(152) kelly says:

I am a medical professional on a critical care transport team. I picked up a child once that the physician had examined his tonsils with a tongue depressor and dislodged a clot. He bled out and died. Be careful with the tongue depressors.

January 22, 2013 at 11:42 am
(153) heather says:

My 2 yr old daughter has throat infections every month, which give her a fever, which give her seizures. Her last seizure lasted 20 mins. She has just seen ant ENT and he looked at her tonsils and said wow ya they need to come out. He looked at them when they were normal not red or infected. Her tonsils are abnormally large even when shes not sick. She is going to have a tonsil ectomy in a few months. reading all of these post are making me terrified though. The ENT was a great dr though, He has referred us to another ENT dr at Loma Linda Hospital so she can stay overnight for oberservation, so it wont be an outpaient surgery which made me very happy because that was my main concern her going home after the procedure. I know she needs this surgery due to the constint infections which are making her have the seizures that are lasting longer and longer each time, but i am terrified with all these bleeding out post and their children dying. What makes them bleed out? Coughing to hard, not even fluids? Can anyone answer this question for me?

January 25, 2013 at 4:56 am
(154) Melly says:

My Heart goes out to all of those who have suffered such a loss. My 8 year old had his T & A 11/27/2012. I waited 4 years for this surgery. I always felt like he was to young, even though he had so many infections and strep throats. So when I finally made up my mind to have the T & A here in Yuma, I was still scared. Everyone I knew was making light of my reluctance. Even after setting the date for the surgery and talking with the ENT I still didin’t feel right. I can’t explain it, almost like I had a feeling. So I cancelled the surgery, and decded on a ENT out in Phoenix that gave me the reassurance and connfidence I needed to set the surgery date. So finally on 11/27/2012 we did it. The only major complication was he had difficulty waking up after. That was scary, it took about 5 hours to wake up. He was in lots of pain, but with time it got better. We are very pleased with the result. Moms and Dads, trust your instincts!

February 8, 2013 at 2:52 am
(155) melanie says:

My 5 yr old son had his tonsils and adenoids removed January 29th. Tuesday February 6,at 2 am he started vomiting bright red blood. I took him to the ER. I was treated like I was an idiot and bleeding a week after is normal. I was unconvinced, but since the bleeding had stopped and my son seemed to be fine , I took him home. Well, about an hour ago, January 8, he woke up vomiting blood again. I’m talking 4 flushes in the toilet full. Now, I’m terrified and can’t sleep.Should I try a different ER???

February 13, 2013 at 6:13 am
(156) Dixie says:

My 5 year old daughter just had a T&A 44 hours ago she woke up this morning @ 5am in ALOT of pain and with a fever of 103.4…I know the dr said a fever is common post op up to 48 hours but I am very worried she has been fine since she came home why 2 days later does she seem to be feeling worse..I have read all of theese stories im VERY SORRY for all of the loss and now im scared that my lil girl is going to get sicker!!…she isnt eating alot which is normal she seems to be drinking ok not alot like before but in her condition more than i expected and i have seen 0 signs of blood at this time she is drooling alot which frustrates her to no extent and her tounge is still swollen she has the “mickey mouse” voice… I called the ER and they said she sounds fine give her some tylenol ugh do i listen and wait awhile or do i take her and make them look at her??? i am so worried i havent slept in days i sit and watch her sleep!!!!

February 16, 2013 at 11:02 pm
(157) DON says:

To Heather, Melly, Melanie and Dixie. Never ask if you should take your child back to the E.R. Read My entire post. You can pay back Medical bills, you’ll never recover if something bad happens with your child. We are having such a big problem recovering from my daughters death. We constantly think about what we should have done. One major thing that we should have done is have her surgery in a hospital and stay for the first 4 days. Those are supposedly the most crucial days. Two weeks is the average time that they’re in pain and can have complications.

March 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm
(158) Emily H. says:

My son at 4 years old who is now 7 had a emergency T&A due to obstructive sleep apnea. His oxygen level was at 25%. And my daughter who is 3 now had a T&A back in nov when she was 2 for the same thing. I am blessed to say there was no complications. I am very so sorry to those who have lossed a child from complications following a T@A surgery. I believe that this Surgery is a major surgery even if they do multiple a day. Any type of procedure where they have to put the person to sleep with anisthia is major surgery and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I know I was freaking out the whole time my kids was in surgery. With that said to the parents who habe concerns about their child getting this surgery is to research the the surgeon who will operating. If you don’t feel comfortable with what you fine keep researchinge ENT’s till u fine that one you feel comfortable. Agian I want to say I am so sorry to those that lost their child I will keep you and your family in ny thoughts and prayers everyday. God bles

March 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm
(159) Lisa says:

My daughter who is 10years old had T&A surgery on the 19th feb for OSA. all went well after surgery until day 5 when my daughter had a bad bleed and was rushed back to hospital and met by the emergency ENT surgeon. They managed to stop the bleed and my daughter was admitted to children’s ward. The next morning my daughter had another bad bleed in the ward and this bleed became an emergency race back to surgery to find and stop the bleed. For the following next couple of days my daughter had small bleeds and was then given a clotting agent into her iv line several times over the day and night. she became very ill with fever chills and stomach pain and non stop vomiting due to the old blood sitting in her stomach and the meds she was given through her iv line. She stayed in hospital until all risks of another bleed had passed. I wished I had done more research before my daughters surgery as I would not have put her through this due to the risks. 3 weeks today since my daughters surgery and she’s now doing well.

March 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm
(160) Rachel says:

My three year old woke up 5 days post op coughing up massive amounts of blood and large blood clots. This was terrifying!! I c alled 911 and my son was rushed to emergency surgery to stop the bleeding. He was kept in the hospitol for a few days to replace fluids and blood lost. He is now recovering well. As terrifying as this was, my ENT informed me of this risk and of what to do if this happened. After reading about others experiences, I am greatful to have such an informative and wonderful doctor. If i had read this article before my son’s surgery, I may have cancelled his procedure. But we all have to remember that this surgery is performed thousands of times a week with only 1-7% of patients suffering complications. No surgery is without risk and no surgeon is perfect, they are human beings! My advice to anyone would be to find a surgeon they can communicate well with. Educate yourself on the benefits and the risks. And as everyone else has said, Be an advocate for your child.

April 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm
(161) Edwin says:

It is heartbreaking to read about the families who suffered such terrible losses. My daughter is (potentially) facing tonsil removal at age 6, and I am quite scared about it. The doctors agree that her tonsils are large — but not *very* large… so they *might* be causing apnea. Is it worth risking the surgery for a possible benefit? She has attention issues, but there is no guarantee that this would fix anything in that regard.

I trust the surgeon — he recommends the surgery, but isn’t pushing us into it. He took out my wife’s tonsils two years ago, and that went fine. The doctor was quick to call back when we had concerns (twice, once very late). We had no bleeding issues at all. The pain was bad, but she was mostly recovered in about 5 days.

But that was my wife. From what I’ve read here and what the surgeon said today, it sounds like kids are more prone to bleeding problems. It terrifies me to put my daughter at risk. Does anyone know how often bleeding problems occur in children?

April 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm
(162) MD says:

My daughter had also died at home the next morning after a tonsillectomy. She was 12 years old. June 23 2011.

April 9, 2013 at 4:52 pm
(163) Tej5 says:

i have read every post on this blog and i want to say sorry to all the parents that lost a chid after this surgery my 5 year old daughter has had 6 positive strep throats swabs in 6 months we went to a ent and were told of the risks but i thought the bleeding was because of the scabing i was not aware of the tonsils are so close to a artery we have another appt with the ent on the 24th but after reading all this posts i am very very hesitant to have the surgery done

April 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm
(164) TV says:

My 5 yr old son’s tonsils are very large too and he snores. I took him to an ent today and she said he was a definite candidate for tonsil and adenoid removal. I was all for it and was thinking it may even help some behavioral issues due to lack of sleep. He is scheduled for a sleep test next week but after reading these posts, I just can’t take the risk of him having surgery. Thank you for these heartbreaking posts.

May 1, 2013 at 11:29 pm
(165) Don says:

Edwin – It is everyone’s personal choice when making any decision about their kids. I just wish that I had known about this site before my daughter passed. One thing that I would say/recommend is to have the surgery at a hospital and leave your kid in the hospital for a minimum of 4 days. In the past when this surgery was performed, they would admit kids to the hospital. There is a critical period the first week and especially the first 3 to 4 days. If Insurance is not an issue… send your kid the hospital. Nothing is guaranteed but this will give you a comfort level knowing that your kid is constantly being watched.

May 8, 2013 at 1:21 am
(166) Alicia says:

I took my daughter to an ENT after being referred due to snoring and what I believe is sleep apnea, although we haven’t had any sleep tests done. The surgery was scheduled for this week, but after coming home and finding this while researching, I cancelled the appt. Thank God that her snoring isn’t severe all the time. I am not prepared to be one of the parents to lose a child for an outpatient surgery. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe the surgery should be outpatient at all due to the risk of post operative bleeding being so serious. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost your precious babies. Try not to constantly ask what you as parents should have done differently because you all are not the professionals. The risks should be discussed better, and hospital stay should be much longer.

May 12, 2013 at 8:01 am
(167) margaret says:

I am sorry to the families who lost their children.I had tonsillectomy in 2002 April , it was successful but know it looks as if it is back s again.can it recur after the surgery

May 26, 2013 at 9:19 pm
(168) MamaBear says:

My son is 5 and has asthma and has been diagnosed with sleep apnea. However his tonsils and adenoids are not enlarged. I’ve been really struggling with this because since nothing is enlarged I don’t think getting them out is a sure fire way to fix the problem.

We’ve decided to go the CPAP route and reassess things in a year

May 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm
(169) mamabear says:

My son is 5 and has moderate sleep apnea. However he also has asthma. They wanted his adenoids and tonsils out. After seeing the ENT we were told neither were really large enough to affect him.

We’ve been juggling the idea of whether or not to get his tonsils and adenoids out. After reading this I’ve decided we’ll not do the surgery and see about doing one of those PAP machines instead

June 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm
(170) maryam says:

my delicate little 3 yers old princess going to have surgery due to large tonsils and suffering twice a month … constantly on antibiotics . but now i am extremely worried . though not healthy eating and sleeping but i still want her… i think i should cancel her surgery. very worried .plz help me

June 24, 2013 at 2:16 am
(171) Carla says:

My son is doing well 10 days after a coblation tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.I’m sorry for the mothers on here who havelost a child due to a tonsillectomy.My son needed this procedure done.My son had sleep apnea his T&A were blocking 90% of his air way.I don’t regret it but reading all these posts I had the worst panic attacks which didn’t help.My son hardly has bled.Tell you parents one thing if your child needs this done do it.He’s 5 didn’t like the codeine/Tylenol at all he had that medicine only the first day.I would recommend rotating tylenol and ibuprofen. And also don’t have them use any straws for two weeks.That’s helped a ton and doctor recommended it also.He stopped taking Tylenol and ibuprofen on day 8.I haven’t had much sleep because I was paranoid he would choke on his blood while he slept another horror story I’ve read online. So parents who need this done do it if its necessary for your child.Cool humidifer is great at night also.Please keep your kiddos hydrated.Good luck parents may your angels have angels watch over them before,during,after surgery and help them to heal properly.

July 9, 2013 at 10:18 am
(172) Smiley says:

Im so sorry to all the parents that have lost their child due to the t&a surgery. My heart goes out to you all.
I’m a 34 year old female in Australia. I just had the t&a surgery 29/06/13. I stayed overnight at the hospital.
I’m now on day 10. Other than the pain, I have had no bleeding and no complications. The scabs are nearly all off now and I saw my ent today and he was very happy with my recovery.
I drank heaps and heaps and heaps of ice cold water. Got a cold mist humidifier. Brushed my teeth min 3 times a day. Gargled with mild salt water. Set an alarm to take my meds, even during the night.
Made sure I ate before I took meds.
Main thing is to keep hydrated. Keep your throat moist.
My doc told me never let your throat go dry.
God bless you all :)

August 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm
(173) Amber says:

On the 23rd July 2013, my little boy aged 3 went in for a tonsillectomy,adenoidhe anaethestiectomy and full nose cauterization. The hospital discharged him the same day with nothing but pain meds. I thought he would be sent home with anibiotics too but nothing. On the following Sunday evening at midnight, he started vomiting bright red blood and lots of it. I phoned the ambulance who immediately took him to hospital and he was admitted. The doctor on duty could not believe that he was discharged without antibiotics. He was put on a drip and I was told he had an infection. The following night at approximately 10pm, he had another bleed. He vomited lots of bright red blood again. The ENT was called and he said that my son cannot afford to lose anymore blood and that he will be taken back into theatre thr following morning. He was taken into theatre at about 10am and the anaethetist spoke to me after the op and told me that my son was bleedng briskly from his throat and it was running into his tummy. The following day he had a blood transfusion. I have never had stress like this and cannot help but wonder how a simple operation could go so horribly wrong. My son is still on antibiotics and pain meds, has not had a proper meal since 23rd July, has lost a huge amount of weight and is just not himself. Does anyone have any idea what could have gone wrong? I will never get the truth from the hospital…Thanks…

August 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm
(174) Carla says:

I’m thinking your son while they did the surgery might of hit an artery.My son also got prescribed antibiotics for 10 days don’t know why the hell your sons doc didn’t prescribe any.Sorry momma you had to deal with a terrible post op for your son.Your poor boy :( probably was scared.

August 13, 2013 at 3:58 pm
(175) Michelle says:

My 15 year old daughter had her tonsils removed on 30th July. Operation went well, she was recovering very well I was amazed. On the 9th day Thursday she looked pale and complained how much her throat was hurting. I looked in her mouth it looked raw and there was a pea sized blood blister on her throat. I took her to the doctors on Friday who said throat was normal it was just scar tissue and gargle with salt water. just passed midnight she came into my room trying to talk. I took her into the bathroom were she was spitting blood. we took her to a & e were we waited for receptionist then triage nurse while she was filling up sick buckets with blood. Finally we were put in a room nurse said about fitting a cannula daughter was in panic mode with fear of needles. not to mention the bleeding. a doctor came in 10 minutes later by then she had filled several bowls with bloods. they fitted her to iv and were squeezing it into her body. as she was going into shock. surgeon was called in and theatre staff. she had to go into theatre and have 2 pints of blood. To look at her it was like scene out of a horror move. The surgeon later said a artery had been snipped during her original surgery and they also found a second clot and removed this. I never felt so afraid. So I urge anyone who has any concerns get the proper advise. I wished I had gone to hospital not the doctors. As this might of been prevented. Was told there was a 5% chance of this happening and it rarely happens again. \I don’t blame the surgeon its a risk with all operations but feel that check ups after surgery with hospital who no what they are looking for not the doctors. I am keeping a close eye on her. After 3 days in hospital she is now back home and back to normal. If in doubt get advise straight away. She was old enough to no there was something wrong and wake me up.

September 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm
(176) Roo's Mom says:

Thank you to everyone who has posted here and my deepest sympathies to those of you who are suffering the loss of a child.

Before reading this, I, like many others, thought this was a routine surgery with few possibilities of complication. Since reading I have requested a new surgeon (the first one did not use coblation) and now know what questions to ask that surgeon. My daughter (age 4) has severe sleep apnea — sleep study results show she stops breathing about 10 times an hour. Clearly, she needs this surgery but I am much less afraid now that I am armed with knowledge and prepared with questions. Thank you again.

September 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm
(177) Emily Blunden says:

Firstly I am extremely sorry for your loss.
My daughter is 2 years old and 2 days post op. she is refusing medication and I am now having to use paracetamol suppositories to get some pain relief into her.
She is also refusing most foods and if she does eat it is a couple of mouthfuls then pushes it away.
I came on here to look for any other way to try and help her and stumbled across your article.
Thanks for sharing such heart rendering stories to try and help others xx

September 28, 2013 at 1:26 am
(178) sammy says:

hi,my son 13 yr old had a tonsillectomy on the sept 1st and its been really hard but after reading this page i think im lucky.my son had been suffering for the last 6 years with sore throats,sleep apnea and infections, finally our gp decided its time for surgery.the day of the op we went in he had his surgery and not even 2 hours later he was told to eat and drink something on the same day which was a shock to me but my son is braver then me without much fuss he had a piece of toast and some water. he was then discharged 2 hours later.5 days after the op he had a bleed, so rang the number that was given to me and was told it was normal small bleeds werent anything to worry about as long as it has stopped. i knew something was wrong then on the 9th day i was woken up by him at 3.30 am with blood dripping down his chin, so i called an ambulance they sent a parmedic she was going asses then he would be taken to hospital by now hes pucking blood in a bucket thats slowly getting full, fresh blood bright red is all over him hes panicking and im histerical and shes writing up details telling me its common in this sort of op. then my son started going very pale and started shaking thats when i lost it ihad to shout at her to get him to ER. the ambulance came and he was taken to hospital, we waited and waited for 2 hours for them to get him to a ward.he was put on a drip and given a lot of antibotics. the er surgeon came did a quick exam of his throat and said it looks like infection and it can happen there keeping him overnight just to make sure he doesnt have another bleed. the day after he was sent home with 5 different medications and was told to rest. its been nearly a month and hes nowhere near better sent him school for the first time in the last 3 weeks and hes got another infection he is now on more antibotics for another week.
i heart goes out to all the families who lost a child through this.

October 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm
(179) Jen says:

My 5yr old brother Jason, had a A&T, he too told my mom he was scared he was going to die. 6 days later my mom called the ENT and told him that Jason didn’t look or feel well and she wanted to bring him in. The Dr. Scolded her and told her she was over reacting and that he was fine. The next morning Jason woke up profusely vomiting up blood. My mom dialed 911, while home alone, holding Jason and no car. They didn’t make it in time and my mom sat their holding her baby boy bleeding to death. Jason died that day in her arms. Years later my husband had the same surgery and I voiced my experience and concern from my brother. I too was assured that the odds of it happening, was slim. Days later my husband began to vomit up blood, luckily I was on top of him refusing to bury another person I loved to this surgery. I flew him to the hospital and his bleeding was stopped.

December 2, 2013 at 9:51 am
(180) Jennifer W says:

My 7 year old daughter had a tonsillectomy due to severe sleep apnea that was affecting her ability to concentrate. We are 7 days post op and the recovery has been rough. The hospital that we were at did a fantastic job of checking her throat for bleeding and showing me how to check them and what to look for when I was checking. They sent me home with tongue depressors and with instructions to go straight to the nearest ER if there was any sign of bleeding.

Two things that I would be sure to tell any parents considering a tonsillectomy are:
1) This is major surgery. We thought we would be home by noon the same day and we ended up staying until 7 pm that night. I guess I thought it would be a little easier than it has been.
2) If your child is due for a dose of pain meds in the middle of the night, wake them up. The pain in the morning seems to be the worst and if you skip that middle of the night dose, it’s a nightmare.

December 12, 2013 at 4:19 am
(181) scared out of my mind says:

it is December 12 2013 3:15 am I have yet to sleep, my kids, yes both are having surgery at 8 and 9am for T&A, my son is 5yr and daughter 2yr (she’s just getting Adenoids out) I am now scared shitless, my kids have been sick for now 4.5 months, 16 Dr. visits between the both of them, a ct scan later and now have concluded that they both have severe sinus infections ( which I have said from the beginning) and now they are having this surgery to hopefully cure this reoccurring sickness from the last 5yrs and now like I said I am SCARED SHITLESS from reading this and I don’t know what to do anymore cause my kids are always sick and that is no way of life either! So freaking out right now and am on no sleep and we have to be at the hospital in 3.5 hrs. I could cry right now because I KNOW I would DIE if anything happened to my babies!!!!

December 17, 2013 at 2:45 am
(182) maria macrae says:

My 9 year old son had his T&A removed last spring (april 2013) He Started bleeding 3 hours after surgery and did not stop for 3 weeks. His Hemoglobin went down to 6.1. Normal is 12 or more. He had 3 surgeries in 24 hours and 7 plasma transfusions and 1 full blood transfusion. It was a complication due to a blood clotting issue. We have since found out he has Hemohilia A and C. My heart is Acheing for this family!

December 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm
(183) Amy says:

First I am soo sorry for all parents who have lost their children. Recently I saw on the news a story of a little girl who is left brain dead from routine tonsillectomy, which made me curious how common is this. When I was 9 years old (approx. 20 years ago) I had a ”routine” outpatient tonsillectomy. It was anything but! shortly after coming home I was eating some ice cream, and playing a board game with my sister. All of a sudden I started throwing up blood accompanied with blood clots. Now this wasn’t just a little blood (picture the excorsist), I literally filled a giant salad bowl before my mom and dad got me to the emergency room. However when I got there nobody would touch me since my surgery was perform in the next town over. they stopped the bleeding and took me code red in an ambulance. If that wasn’t terrifying enough, my Dr (who was supposed to be on call) was NOWHERE to be found. They paged him and paged him for 3 hours (while im literally laying there dying) until he decided to show up. He came in wiith a smug attitude and proceeded to pull out this long metal thing that looked like giant tweezers and told me to open up. I did reluctantly and he pulled out a giant blood clot. After he did that, I started profusely throwing up blood again, and they rushed me code red to surgery all I remember is seeing white and passing out. I was in the hospital for a week, and on bed rest for a month. even when I got home I could get up except go to the bathroom or I would pass out. I still remember this like it was yesterday, it was the most traumatic experience of my life and would not recommend this to anyone. its just not worth it. I hope my story helps someone out there.

December 23, 2013 at 11:40 am
(184) Jennifer says:

I read this article in the hospital the night my daughter had her tonsils removed. She was my 3rd child to have the procedure. I believe this article and my gut feeling saved her life. By the fourth day she was in incredible pain and woke me in the morning spitting out bright red blood. I took her to the ER and called the doctors office who told me it was “normal” for some bleeding and for her to eat ice chips. The doctor in the ER didn’t even use a depressor to look at her tonsils.
We went home and the bleeding started again but worse. I took her back and demanded they look. I called the doctors office again and was on the phone with the nurse who assured me it was “normal” – imagine her surprise when I said I had to go because she was going into surgery. The doctor came in and said that out all of the doctors in their practice they get maybe one case a year and she was it.
Had the earlier doctor looked she was bleeding from the bottom of her tonsils. She had blood in her stomach and was bleeding to death.
I thank God everyday that I read this article and took her back TWICE. Had I listened to the phone nurse my daughter would have probably died. Thank you so much for this article. I know you have saved many lives.

January 3, 2014 at 2:44 am
(185) Carol says:

I am so overwhelmed with grief from reading all of the horror stories. My condolences to all families that have lost their love ones. I am 42 years old and had my tonsillectomy Dec 27. I felt okay about my Dr and was very nervous about the procedure. I researched many tips and the procedure but did not see this website until today.

My Dr told me which procedure he was performing and told me to research the procedure so I could feel comfortable. However he did NOT talk about scabs and bleeding post op. Now I’m scared and expecting the worst since its only day 7.

Here are my tips that worked for me do far:
1. Hydrate as much as possible with water and Gatorade every hour. Do not let your throat become dry or it will cause pain. Set a timer if necessary to wake up.
2. Do not drink or eat milk based products. This can create extra mucus in the throat. I did eat pudding but it was very thick and stuck in my mouth.
3. Manage pain in advance. Take pain meds on time every 4 hours.
4. Use lots of ice packs. I have used them daily several times a day around the back of my neck and bagged ice under my neck. This has helped with pain and swelling.
5. I also sleep on several propped pillows so I can breathe better. Lying flat seems to close my throat.
6. So far I have eaten lots if jello, frozen juice pops(no citrus) applesauce, scrambled eggs and grits, and Lipton chicken noodle soup oh and mashed potatoes. Eat ice chips and make drinks are cold.
7. Chew sugarless gum to exercise jaws so muscles will not be stiff.
I had a green juicer today with kale, celery, spinach and apple along with another smoothie with peach banana and papaya juice with a protein boost. I felt like all of the jello, pops, and puffing was just sugary stuff and no nutrients. I read natural baby food was good as well. Try to make slushies with Gatorade and ice in the blender at home.

January 3, 2014 at 2:46 am
(186) Carol says:

Post 2 the continuation…

I had to get a refill on pain meds. I first had liquid Vicodin I ran out and got Percocet today. The liquid helped with pain but I still had discomfort.

UNDER no circumstance should anyone take any Advil, Motrin, or any ibuprofen drug before or after the surgery. My Dr was adamant about this. It thins your blood and can promote bleeding. I can’t believe the horrors stories I’ve read with nurses and doctors prescribing that.

Medical procedures are very scary and all precautions are a must. Never switch to a new Dr for surgery unless highly recommended or you have talked them first. I’m learning this more and more. I asked several questions and probably got on his nerves but I didn’t care. While I’m in pain he’s off doing else.

I hope my tips help someone as I am still in recovery. Oh one more thing. My Dr recommended warm saltwater rinses. Don’t add to much salt or it will burn.

If anything else happens I will add another post. Blessings to everyone.

January 3, 2014 at 2:59 am
(187) Carol says:

Post 3

I forgot to add that I had my one week follow up yesterday. The Dr said my throat was swollen and tied to give me a steroid shot in the office. Since my veined are tiny that did not work out well he was only able to get 1/5 of the med in. I asked for a steroids pills instead. My hand was already blown up from the surgical iv. I’m looking forward to taking them as I have concerns about swelling and scar tissue.

You must also take a mild laxative. Meds from surgery and pain meds cause constipation. I have done that for 3 days now to try and regular. That was a must from the Dr. Maybe prune juice will help as well. I haven’t tried it as I haven’t gone to the store. The Peri-cola e is working for me.


January 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm
(188) Crystal says:

My son is 2 years old and the doctor just told me he needs a tonsillectomy (surgery). I’m so worry and confuse now. I don’t know what to do. He says his tonsil are yo Big. :(

February 3, 2014 at 2:47 am
(189) Btgos says:

I was very scared also my 3yr. Old son had to have it done and I wanted to make sure he had a good ENT. My friend worked for one and I like the thought having someone I could trust to be there. It went smoothly they got him in and out quickly and gently, they checked up on him while there and called twice while at home. You have to find one that you feel comfortable with and don’t be worried to express your fears.
Now he’s 7 days healing and got oral thrush :( Miserable but we’re getting it cleared out and back on the road to recovery. I’m soo sorry to hear about the losses and my heart goes out to you families! I’m blessed things went well and hope it continues to go well for others!

February 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm
(190) crystal says:

I am so sorry to everyone who has lost a child. I had my tonsils out at the age of 25 and was down for 4 weeks and in major pain. My son had surgery Feb 10 2014 just 7 days ago. It was in a same day surgery. My son had strep and lived on antibiotics for almost a year. His tonsils became enlarged to the point he could not eat or sleep. He missed many days of school. He would be on Augmentin for 10 days off 2 and start running a temp and throat swelling again. So after many thoughts we agreed to have tonsils pulled. The day of surgery they took his tonsils and adnoids. Woke up screaming and scared. The dr told me his t&a were green with infection and severely enlarged. She said the surgery was needed. Put him on hydracodone and augmentin. After awhile he drank and ate Popsicles. Came home was doing awsome. A few hours later he threw up. Next day woke up feverish 99.8. Ended up in er wed dehydrated on day 3. They did a cbc and wbc count went from 9 to a 12. Gave zofran. We are day 7 still fever and pain but hes drinking. Is this normal. Help. Fever of 99.9 last night.

February 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm
(191) Danielle says:

My heart breaks for all of the losses that so many of you have experienced. Such a tragic, early departure that no parent should ever experience. I truly am so sorry.

My daughter had her tonsils and adenoids removed when she was 3 years old, and thank God her surgery was quick and she recovered slowly, but smoothly. I, too, was oblivious to the dangers of this surgery, but had I known then what I know now, I doubt I would have gone through with it. The risks are so scary and so terrifying that it really force a parent to cancel an appt.

My 13yo son had his adenoids removed when he was 6 years old, and all went well; however, they have since grown back and his adenoids block his nasal breathing. While he doesn’t need his tonsils removed, I wonder how dangers adenoid removal is, and if the cauterization is near an artery– that is my biggest concern. I will do my research and proceed.

Again, my sincerest condolences to all. The worst pain a parent can ever go through is that of a passing of a child. From a mother to a mother, a mother to a father, God bless all of you– I am so sorry. :(

February 18, 2014 at 6:49 am
(192) Bankie says:

Now am soooooo scared, my 6.7yr old daughter ll av to take out her tonsil + adenoid soon, been putting it off for over 2yrs, now it’s affecting her quality of life. So confused rite now I don’t no what to do. Can’t even imagine loosing her! Couldn’t help cryin when I read d stories of those dt lost their children, so sorry……. really painful!

February 25, 2014 at 5:53 am
(193) Lea says:

I first came across this blog 2.5 years ago when my eldest had just had his T&A. In day 10 he haemorrhaged, and it was the single scariest night of my life. My bathroom looked like a scene from a Quentin Tarentino movie. He was rushed to hospital, they put him on a drip for IV antibiotics for 5 days. Now my toddler just had it done, and I wanted to come back and share our story.
This was the hardest decision of my life. I knew the risks, I knew I nearly lost my eldest 2 years ago, however I also knew that my baby needed the surgery. His tonsils and adenoids were so enlarged he just struggled to breath. He’d snore, stop breathing, choke constantly.
So in we go 3 weeks ago to have our 3rd precious child have this surgery. I can’t tell you how scared I was. He was kept in over night, and then when we left hospital, we were prescribed antibiotics and Endone. He was in constant pain for the first 5 days, but was coping reasonably well. Lots of ice blocks, jelly, yoghurt and ice cream. Days 5-6&7 seemed to be the worst, because everything now stung. So he didn’t want to drink but I made him. Day 8, he woke up and asked for toast, eggs and a hash brown! His scab had come off and day 10 passed with no bleed, praise God! We had our post op today, back to preschool & swimming lessons tomorrow.
I am deeply sorry for you here who have lost your precious children as a result of this surgery.
I do want to say too, that if your ENT has suggested a T&A it is always a good idea to get a 2nd opinion, I wish I had with my eldest. Yes he needed the surgery, but the ENT I went to had a bleeding rate of 1 in 20. Where as my new ENT has a bleeding rate of 1in 1000. Please find a specialised paediatric ENT and ask trusted family & friends who they used.
God bless you all

February 27, 2014 at 9:17 am
(194) Janis says:

my daughter will be 4yrs old in April. She had her tonsils and adenoids out on Tuesday morning, 2/26. That morning we noticed she had a bit of a runny nose and a cough here and there. We advised the ENT and the anesthesiologist of it, and after evaluating her they decided to go through with the surgery. It made me uneasy, I can’t recall the exact comment of the anesthesiologist, but I nearly cancelled minutes before she was taken it… After the initial grumpy wake-up from the anesthesia and a little nap after, she was ready to go. She drank and ate, wanted to walk around etc. A few hours after getting home she wanted to eat solids and everything so I compromised with nearly room temperature chicken noodle soup( I took out all the chicken bits so it was just noodles and broth). That night, once she fell asleep, she sounded very congested, and like she was gargling on something. I was scared it was blood, but didn’t see any coming from her mouth ( I was never told to look at her throat to check for bleeding the way I read you advise your patients to). I took her temp. with the ear thermometer because she felt hot, it was 103.8. She refused to take her medicine( Lortab with Tylenol) since she was asleep. I took temp. again, it read 104. I had the ENT paged since it was 4am, she called back sounding annoyed, told me to just wait it out. I did, when she woke up, forced her to take her meds. Fever went down but its not gone. staying in around 101 then spiking back up to 103. She vomited once last night, no blood. Shes very congested when she coughs, I can hear the phlegm. Should I call my regular pediatrician and have her seen there, or the ENT? please advise me if I’m being paranoid or if this warrants a visit

March 2, 2014 at 6:03 am
(195) Lea says:

Janis I know it’s been a few days, but take her back to ENT if you’re worried. My son had his done on 5th Feb, ran a temp of 38-38.2 for first 2 days post op, and I believe that’s normal. However if you’re daughter was unwell before surgery, she may just need an antibiotic to help. My eldest got a sinus infection, post op, so I know it’s scary.
I hope she’s better.

April 2, 2014 at 9:46 am
(196) Mimi says:

My heartfelt prayers and condolences to those of you that have lost your children.. If I had come across this before yesterday when my 7 yr old grandaughter had bilateral ear tubes and T& A, I would have never let my daughter take her to have it done…

April 3, 2014 at 10:58 pm
(197) Sheena says:

My two year old son had severe sleep apnea. His ENT said he would not suggest a tonsilectomy and adenoidectomy if he didn’t feel is was a must. We went and had the surgery done after reading all these comments…. I cried myself to sleep for three days after reading this thinking this was going to happen to my son. Thank god it did not and I am sorry for the people who lost children after this surgery but for other Moms out there just know that in most cases everything will be OK. There are risks with any surgery especially in small children. Know that this is best for their health and choose a specialist that you feel cares about your child ne you your family. How do you know this, call them and ask sow thing off the wall and see how they comfort you. If it doesn’t feel sincere then ON TO THE NEXT ONE.

April 11, 2014 at 7:22 am
(198) Erin says:

I am reading this now the day after my son’s surgery. Feeling very anxious. He is 9 and just had his 3rd procedure, yes 3rd. He had adenoids out at 1 due to sleep apnea, then tonsils at age 4 and adenoids again since they had grown back. Both of those were done either the ablation “less traumatic” way and he recovered fine. Now at age 9 tonsils were back big as an adults or larger and a small amount of adenoid tissue. The Dr. removed them this time the older way with scalpel, as it is more effective to ensure no regrowth. That plus his age now being over 5 should mean they won’t regrow. However, after surgery the dr. said it was one of the more complicated ones he had ever done due to previous scar tissue and difficulty separating the muscle from tonsil through the scar tissue. Of course now I’m terribly worried about a bleed since his surgery was pretty close I guess. I have great confidence in the children’s hospital we go to as my other son also had to have 2 procedures due to regrow the and he did beautifully and at age 12 they appear to be gone for good. Have any others here had their child regrow their tonsils and was the 2nd surgery worse? The doctors say it happens sometimes but no one I know has ever had it happen to their kids and I feel pretty alone. I thought I was making the best choice due to apnea, I mean I can’t stay awake for 10 years watching them sleep…. But now I’m worried! We are just on day 2, he is handling it well but has some stronger pain meds than usual. Thank you to those that have shared what to look out for, my heart aches for those of you that suffered such unexpected loss.

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