Grommets Surgery

Today, Roo finally had her grommets surgery after months of waiting.  The hospital admissions team rang on Thursday with the date, which didn’t exactly give us much time to prepare. But I am convinced this was a good thing, given how psyched up I was the last time, and how disappointed we all felt when it was cancelled two days before it was due to happen.

I couldn’t find much in the way of personal experience so I am writing this post to document what happened. If your child is having grommets surgery and this makes it that little bit easier, then it will be a post well written.

Roo was admitted at 7:30 to the children’s day surgery ward. As soon as we were allocated a bed, a nurse came round and asked a few questions about her general health, weighed her, took her temperature and heart rate and gave us a hospital gown for her to wear.  She also rubbed some magic cream on Roo’s hands to numb them in preparation for a canula.  At that point we had the opportunity to pick some food for her lunch but as she was nil by mouth, she couldn’t have anything then.

Shortly after that, the consultant and anaesthetist came by, explained the procedure and informed us Roo would have a suppository for pain relief whist she was still under.  We signed the consent form and were left to wait.

We didn’t have to wait long.  Initially, we were third on the list for the grommets surgery but ended up getting bumped up to second as the little girl going first had a fever.  The anaesthetist decided it would be unsafe to put her to sleep, and so they were sent home.  By 9am we were called down to theatre.

Our hospital allows one parent to accompany their child into the anaesthetic room, so I stepped up, donned a hospital gown and was with her as she fell asleep.  We were told if her veins were cooperative, she’d be put under via her canula, if not, they’d use gas.  Thankfully they managed to get the canula in with very little problem, and I was amazed at how fast she conked out.  Grommets surgery takes hardly any time; Ross and I had just enough time to grab a much needed caffeine fix before we were called to Recovery.

Obs were taken every half hour, and we were allowed home four hours after her op, and after she had eaten and drunk something (which didn’t pose a problem for our very hungry little person).

I am just so pleased it’s finally over.

Things I Noticed…

1) When we went to Recovery, Roo was shaking quite violently.  It was a little frightening to see but we were told it’s a very common and normal reaction.

2) She’s been up and down since the anaesthetic.  One minute she is running about as if nothing had happened, and the next her eyes are almost closing and she needs a rest. The switch is not at all gradual.

3) Roo wanted food the minute we were back from recovery.  She was starving and pretty much inhaled 3 pots of Ambrosia custard within the space of about ten minutes.  The nurse asked us to slow it down as the anaesthetic can make you vomit.

4) There was blood in her nose, where they took out her adenoids, and in her ears where they popped in the grommets.  In hindsight, I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting this, but I wasn’t, and seeing her bleed was a little unsettling.

5) Know your own personal medical history as well as your child’s.  The anaesthetist wanted to know if either of us had ever been put under.  I know I hadn’t, but my husband wasn’t sure about himself.

Things to Take for Grommets Surgery…

1) It is likely he hospital will provide food for your little patient, but we didn’t know what to expect so we took along some provisions we knew she’d eat – custard and chocolate.  There was a constant supply of toast, biscuits and squash.  It’s worth noting there was nothing for parents.

2) There is a fair bit of waiting around, especially if you’re not near the top of the queue.  We took our iPad, a personal DVD player, cards to play pairs or snap, and a barbie doll.

3) You can usually take a favourite toy into the anaesthetic room.  It won’t go into theatre, as, let’s face it, stuffed toys are hardly sterile, but they will pop it in recovery.

4) Comfy clothes.  They didn’t take Roo’s canula out until just before we were leaving, so sleeves that will happily fit over are a must.



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  1. What a brilliant idea for a post. I have no doubt that this will be stumbled upon by someone looking for reassurance. Glad she sailed through it all. Can’t believe they made you put on a gown though, no one has ever tried that one with me :-)

  2. Thank you Jenny and Renata, I wish I could know how she experiences the world now it’s clearer for her. I hope someone out there does find it useful. It’s such a minor procedure, but knowing other people have had the same experiences helps a lot.

    I love wearing hospital get up. My brother-in-law’s lovely girlfriend works in a hospital and gave me some actual scrubs for Christmas. I totally dress up like a surgeon to do my hoovering.

  3. What a brave girl and a brave mummy dealing with it! I would be a wreck, great post for those about to experience it. I can’t image the breakdown my youngest would have if he had to be nil by mouth, so she did great bless her :) x

  4. She looks so little in that bed and she sounds like she was a big brave girl, hope her recovery is speedy and she is back to normal. Glad she didn’t have the gas it’s quiet distressing seeing your little bundle of joy going under with gas and worse when they come too with the vomiting.

  5. Interesting and useful. thanks for share.
    You look very calm in your scrubs for someone whose child is about to go into surgery. Not sure I could manage a smile. Go You!

    1. I was bricking it really. But both the consultant and the anaesthetist were great at putting my mind at ease. I knew she was in very safe hands x

  6. I had a similar experience with my little boy (Jock) 12 months ago, your blog brought back all my memories. He’s doing fine now, I think you’ll find your daughter will recover to her normal self quickly, once all the hospital drugs leave her system. I’ve posted a website above I purchased the cutest ear band and earplugs which keep Jocks ears dry when swimming – he loved them. I hope this helps. Cheers Jodie

  7. So glad all went well. Oliver had grommets too and his adenoids removed. He still stuffers years later with glue ear and I suppose until the Eustation tube grows, that will be the case. Infections are every 4 months though so huge improvement from constant!

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