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Photo Journal: One child's tonsillectomy experience at Mills Hospital Surgery Center

Robert*, a four year old boy, is getting ready for his tonsillectomy at Mills Hospital Surgery Center. He has already visited the surgery center with his parents several days prior to his operation; as a result, he is comfortable with the nursing staff and the center. He also had a preoperative appointment with Dr. Bock to discuss how to care for his throat after surgery and has recieved medical clearance to proceed with surgery from his pediatrician.

The anesthesiologist, Dr. Wilk, listens to Robert's heart, reviews the anesthesia plan, and answers the parents' questions.
A relaxed patient is carried to the operating room by Dr. Wilk.

Dr. Wilk places an oxygen saturation monitor on Robert's toe while the scrub nurse and Dr. Bock are present to reassure the child.
A child may bring a familiar stuffed animal or blanket to the operating room. Here's "Leo" watching over the procedure.

After Robert is asleep, Dr. Bock places sterile surgical drapes around his face and gently inserts a retractor into his mouth to visualize the tonsils.
Dr. Bock uses an Arthrocare Coblation wand to gently remove the tonsils while minimizing the amount of heat applied to Robert's throat. This technique will reduce post-op discomfort.

When Robert wakes in the recovery room, he is comfortable and his father is present to greet him.
After surgery, Robert stays in the Recovery Care Inn (RCI) for the afternoon so that the nursing staff can be certain that he is drinking fluids and that any discomfort is managed with pain medications. If he is doing well, then at the end of the day, Dr. Bock will examine him and discharge him to home. Otherwise, he will stay overnight at the RCI with his parents until he is well enough to go home.

One week after surgery, Robert and his mother visit Dr. Bock. She asks about his progress at home and takes a look at his throat.
Robert's mother and Dr. Bock review any postoperative concerns.

Here is a big smile from the patient: he is well enough to resume a regular diet and activities. He is looking forward to swimming with his friends over the weekend.
*Our patient's name was changed to protect his privacy. We would like to thank him and his parents for helping us put together this journal which will help other families prepare for surgery.