Wooden Tongue Spatula

ENT Surgeries for Children

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy

A tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (or adenotonsillectomy) is when your child’s tonsils and adenoids are removed simultaneously. The surgery will require general anaesthesia and will take around 30 minutes to complete.

The benefit of this surgery is that no incisions are needed in the face, as both the tonsils and the adenoids can be reached via the throat. This means that it is not a complicated process and is very successful too. It is done as a day case, so you will be able to go home the same day.

The main risk for this operation is bleeding, and this can either occur within the first 24 hours or even a few days later. Should any bleeding occur back home it is important to contact your surgeon as soon as possible or take your child to the nearest emergency unit.

Recovery time of around one week is recommended after the surgery, and activities like swimming and exercise can resume from around two weeks after the operation. Pain is the main issue during this time, and it is important to make sure the child takes his/her pain medicine regularly for a few days. If a child does not eat or drink or swallow, they can get dehydrated and an infection can occur at the raw areas where the tonsils were removed.

Stick with soft, cool foods initially, and make sure that it is not very spicy or sour. Things like bananas, orange juice and tomatoes will sting, and the bubbles in gas cooldrinks can also cause pain. As the child gets better over the next few days anything can be taken, just as long as the child eats and drinks enough.


Grommets are tiny plastic tubes that are inserted into the eardrums to treat certain conditions that affect the middle ear. They work to allow air into the ear, especially when a patient has "glue ears", which refers to fluid that builds up behind the ear. This is a very common condition in young children but it doesn’t necessarily pose problems or require surgery.

Children that get repeated middle ear infections will benefit from grommets in that the amount of episodes will be less, the infection less severe and of shorter duration and also easier to diagnose and treat.

Grommets are a short term solution until your child’s Eustachian tubes have grown and matured over time. They usually stay inside for anything from 3 to 18 months and usually fall out by themselves.

A grommet operation will not take more than 30 minutes, including the anaesthetic and recovery time. It is done as a day procedure, and your child will be able to go home as soon as he is fully awake and not too nauseous to eat.

In some cases, grommets need to be placed in the ear again when the previous ones are removed or if they have fallen out, but this depends on the patient. Grommets are usually safe and not associated with infections, but contact your ENT surgeon if the child’s ear starts ‘leaking’ or discharging a yellow fluid. Antibiotic eardrops can easliy solve the problem.