Aug 11, 2009

Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy Surgery

At our last ENT appointment in June I mentioned the question of doing a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy but didn't get much of an answer. It was still nagging at my mind that perhaps the surgery could help Ainsley so I scheduled an appointment just to talk about that with her ENT. I was fully prepared to get the brush-off so I prepared a 10 item list of all the reasons I wanted him to consider it:

* the redness and bumps at the back of her throat were thought to be from reflux/vomiting but didn't go away after the fundoplication
*her tonsils look large and sore (and always have)
* her previous ENT said she thought they would need to be removed in the future
*the back of Ainsley's throat is already crowded due to the posterior position of her tongue and appears to be anatomically somewhat small (so she needs any extra space, IMO)
*when she cries you can see the tonsils, uvula and tongue compress together (again some extra space might be nice)
*she has a hard time getting enough air through if she's crying while wearing her PMV and cap (so perhaps the extra space of the enlarged tonsils might contribute to the problem)
* in order to smell she seems to have to stick out her tongue (again could be a sign of not enough room at the back of the throat)
*her breathing is sometimes noisy when she's capped, especially while sleeping
*we've heard snoring through her nose even without a PMV
*she can swallow but stops after a few bites, could be from soreness of the tonsils

He then said that her primary problem is that the vocal cords are so badly scarred that they don't open very well which leaves her a very tiny slit to breath through. So he says the tonsils really don't play that big of a part. Then he went on to say that IF her vocal cords were in good condition she would need the tonsils out but since there was no surgery to be done for them then there was no rush. So I thought for sure he wasn't going to do it. He's quite the joker, and said ..."Well now that I've made that as clear as mud...." Then he says it's been awhile since she's had a laryngoscopy/bronchoscopy so lets take a look and then do the operation. Steve is looking at me like "What is going on?" and I reiterate that the surgeon will do the MLB and then if he thinks she needs the tonsillectomy then he'll do it, to which he replied, "Oh, she needs it.".... ???

He was very clear that he does not think this will help her airway because the primary problem is the vocal cords. Then he added "Of course if it works I'm going to say I knew it all along." Funny guy.

Well whether or not it will help her airway is yet to be seen but it is agreed she needs to have them out and the surgery is scheduled for Sept. 28th. He also said he may do some lasering of the vocal cords if there seems to be anything that can be done without compromising her voice or lungs. It's no LTP but I'm still thrilled. So now lets just hope that a few weeks after she's recovered it will have done something positive for her. Then the doctor can say "I told you so!" and I won't care one bit.

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