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Information on Pediactric Surgeries and More in Alberta

We see pediatric with a variety of ear, nose and throat concerns. Such as; airway concerns, like nasal congestion, recurrent tonsillitis, difficulty breathing or snoring. Other common complaints in the pediatric population are hearing loss, speech delay, tongue/lip tie. Some pediatric referrals require work up prior to being seen by an ENT, such as a hearing test, pediatric sleep study, or x-rays. If Dr. Chau would like your child to have additional testing, a request will be communicated to your referring physician at the time of referral. If Dr. Chau thinks surgery is the best option, it will be discussed with the parent and child in consultation and a surgical date will be assigned based on operative time available. Dr. Chau performs pediatric surgeries every month at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Most Common Pediatric Surgeries

The most common pediatric surgery performed is Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy with possible Lateral Pharyngoplasty. This is performed under general anaesthesia in the operating room. Your adenoids tend to decrease in size as you age so not all patients require adenoidectomy, however, in some cases adults can have adenoid tissue that needs to be removed. Dr. Chau prefers to perform tonsillectomy along with lateral pharyngoplasty, which is closing the tissue surrounding the area where the tonsils were removed. This tends
to decrease pain making for a more speedy recovery. Tonsillectomy was once a common procedure to treat infection and inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis) only, however, today, it is also performed for sleep-disordered breathing.

Another common pediatric surgery is Bilateral Myringotomy with Tube Placement. This is performed under general anaesthesia in the operating room and involves Dr. Chau placing small tubes into your child's eardrum. The tubes are placed to help drain the fluid out of the middle ear in order to reduce the risk of ear infections. During an ear infection, fluid gathers in the middle ear, which can affect your child's hearing. Sometimes, even after the infection is gone, some fluid may remain in the ear and the tubes help drain this fluid, and prevent it from building up again. This procedure is most commonly done in young children as by the age of 5, most children have wider and longer eustachian tubes (a canal that links the middle ear with the throat area), allowing better drainage of fluids from the ear naturally. Most common symptoms that may indicate your child is a candidate for this procedure includes, recurrent ear infections, fluid in the ears causing hearing loss and or speech delay.

Alberta Children’s Hospital Information

No matter how simple or complex your child's surgery, we understand that no procedure is small when it involves your child. Alberta Children’s Hospital has a caring, child-friendly team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and child life specialists that are specially trained to meet the needs of children and families. Rest assured, you are in good hands.

A child having surgery can be stressful for the entire family. When families know what to expect are often less anxious and better prepared for their hospital experience. Our goal is to provide you with information and resources to help your family prepare for the upcoming surgery.

Does your child’s upcoming surgery have them asking all kinds of questions? Would your child benefit from a specialized plan for an upcoming surgery?

The Alberta Children’s Hospital provides a program to help prepare your child for surgery called “SURGERY 101”
Join a Child Life Specialist to:

  • Learn about what to expect on surgery day. Try out all kinds of medical equipment including an anesthesia mask, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, etc. Learn about anesthesia.

  • Learn coping strategies to help relax. See where the surgical areas are located at this hospital.

This program is offered every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. in the ART STUDIO on LEVEL 4.

Specialized Care Plans are available for children with Autism, special needs or high anxiety. The day of surgery can be challenging. The Alberta Children’s Hospital would like to help your family develop a plan to prepare for surgery in a way that works best for your child.

What is a specialized care plan?

  • Staff will provide you with details about the day of surgery

  • Develop a coping plan for your child

  • Communicate your child’s needs to the surgical team

To register your child please email (we recommend attending within 1-2 weeks of your child’s surgery date)

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