ENT Surgery Stories

09/17/2007

When our two young daughters (4 and 5 at the time) were hit with a double-whammy tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, it unsettled our entire family. Sure, we regarded these mostly as routine procedures, but up to that point the sum of our children's medical experiences mainly included regular annual check-ups and the periodic chest cold and crud.

As parents we fretted about absolutely everything. Sedation. Recovery. Whether or not our kids could bring a stuffed animal to the hospital. Our kids just knew they were having an operation to help them breath more easily, and that recovery inexplicably involved ice cream and popsicles. They were pretty okay with this arrangement.

We jumped at the chance to attend a pre-surgery tour at the hospital in St. Paul. Much to our delight it was more interactive program than formal tour. Child Life staff at Children's put on a brief puppet show to explore with kids the idea of having an operation, and the feelings that go with it.

Kids also modeled fashions they'd wear at the hospital, and got acquainted with a few tools they'd likely see nurses and doctors using. All of the children loved picking an aromatic 'flavor' they could use on their sedation mask when it was time for their surgery.

While kids continued to learn and play, staff pulled parents aside in an adjacent room for a group discussion, patiently answering our rapid succession of questions. The evening concluded with a walking tour of the hospital to get us acclimated to the few places we'd visit on surgery day.

The morning of the procedures things at the hospital moved along crisply. Our kids promptly received their ID wristbands and powder blue PJs, and nurses ushered in and out of our initial waiting room to administer pre-op check ups. At the pre-surgery waiting room we were greeted by another nurse, and later an anesthesiologist, to once more walk us through the procedure and answer any questions, of which there were many. Each child was then called in for surgery; one accompanied by mom, the other by grandma. Both brought in their favorite stuffed animal.

The surgeries were quick and routine.

The point is that when a child gets sick or hurt, no matter how severe or non-threatening, it becomes an all-consuming family affair. And while nobody is better at caring for and helping kids return to good health, Children's, at every step, is a cut above the rest in caring for and helping families be families.

Children's excellence helped me focus on my daughter; now I help others.

11/20/2007
By Tina, a Children's Employee
Ramsey, MN

My very happy and healthy 3-year-old daughter always had trouble sleeping through the night. Finally, she was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Levinson said she needed to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. Everyone I knew kept telling me that it was not a big deal, nothing to worry about. But, I kept thinking, this is my baby; it is a big deal.

Although I knew this was a surgery that was performed many times a day and I felt quite confident with Dr. Levinson's skills I was still very anxious and upset the day of the procedure. I was allowed to hold my daughter while she was put under anesthesia. I was warned that it might be difficult to see your child go to sleep in such a dramatic manner. It was. It was the most difficult thing I had ever done.

I left the anesthesia room with tears streaming down my face. It was horrible. I couldn't imagine a worse experience. My daughter came out of the surgery in great condition. She seemed to have an immediate recovery. To her it was no big deal. A few days later a friend called to check on her and asked my how things went for us. That was when that it occurred to me just how great the experience really was.

All day, from the surgery check-in, to the nurses, the doctor and anesthesiologist coming to talk to us and even the follow-up and check out after the surgery. All of the background, all of the work by the staff and everyone at the hospital was great.

All of that was completely seamless for us. It allowed me to completely focus on my daughter. I do recognize that we are extremely blessed. I do know how many very sick children there are at this hospital and I am very thankful that we only had a minor surgery to get through.

I made note of the professionalism and excellent customer service that we experienced that day and I decided that I wanted to be part of Children's. Six months later I started working here. I love coming to work everyday. I love knowing that I am doing my very small part to make it a seamless experience for the next mom who only wants to focus on her child. I enjoy helping them get through the day.

Gratitude for my colleagues after autistic son's tonsillectomy

My son Tommy is a great kid, and autistic. When he had to have his tonsils out, Children's was the only alternative I considered, as I work as an at-home transcriptionist for Children's and know how much we really care about our patients. Full Story

Children's excellence helped me focus on my daughter

My very happy and healthy 3-year-old daughter always had trouble sleeping through the night. Finally, she was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Levinson said she needed to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. Everyone I knew kept telling me that it was not a big deal, nothing to worry about. But, I kept thinking, this is my baby; it is a big deal Although I knew this was a surgery that was performed many times a day and I felt quite confident with Dr. Levinson's skills I was still very anxious and upset the day of the procedure. Full Story

A double-whammy with ice cream

When our two young daughters (4 and 5 at the time) were hit with a double-whammy tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, it unsettled our entire family. Sure, we regarded these mostly as routine procedures, but up to that point the sum of our children's medical experiences mainly included regular annual check-ups and the periodic chest cold and crud. As parents we fretted about absolutely everything. Full Story

Gratitude for my colleagues after autistic son's tonsillectomy

11/29/2007
By Mary, a Children's Employee

My son Tommy is a great kid, and autistic. When he had to have his tonsils out, Children's was the only alternative I considered, as I work as an at-home transcriptionist for Children's and know how much we really care about our patients.

The greatest part of the whole experience was the fact that Tommy was treated like a regular child who needed to know what was going on, and who needed to be reassured. It meant a lot to Tommy, and it meant even more to myself and my husband.

Child Life met with Tom and took extra pains to put things in his perspective, but treated him with respect. Although Tommy might have been considered too old for such things, the nurses in the anesthesia room sang children's songs to put him at ease and to go to sleep.

To Tom, his "security blanket" was his light bulb that he had decorated, and essential in his mind to his well-being. When it was left behind in the PACU (recovery room), his nurse hoofed it up there and brought it back.

When I foolishly cried over my son going in for something as simple as a tonsillectomy, they actually cared. Tommy was just another T&A (tonsils and adenoids) case, and at Children's, that is something very, very special. Thank you, to my fellow employees.