Patient Success Stories

Child’s Sleep Quality and Breathing Improve After Tonsil and Adenoid Removal at Silver Cross

Is your child suffering from chronic throat infections or enlarged tonsils or adenoids? Have you noticed sleeping issues such as snoring, restless sleep patterns or sleep apnea (a serious sleep disorder where a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep)?

In some children, these types of sleeping issues coincide with frequent tonsil and adenoid enlargement.

Melissa and Bryan McCormack of Homer Glen, parents to five-year old daughter Emmy, were trying their best to navigate the world of chronic throat and ear infections that became more frequent when she entered daycare.

“We tried everything to help Emmy – we went through one period where she was getting repeated infections for over six months. She had several rounds of antibiotics, nebulizer treatments, humidifiers, inhalers – you name it, we tried it! Then we noticed Emmy was snoring more when sleeping; she slept with her mouth open and seemed to be struggling to breathe at night,” Melissa explained.

Emmy’s pediatrician referred the McCormack’s to Douglas Johnston M.D., an ear, nose and throat pediatric surgeon with Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.

“Emmy was experiencing chronic tonsillitis and ear infections. Her voice sounded as if she had a cold, yet she didn’t have one. While sleeping, she was snoring and had pauses in her breathing. She was a mouth breather and her tonsils were huge,” Dr. Johnston said.

After receiving a thorough health history from Emmy’s parents, Dr. Johnston recommended a tonsillectomy, adenoid removal and ear tube placement to drain fluid from her ears.

Emmy’s parents are thrilled with the results after Emmy’s surgery at Silver Cross. Just a week after surgery, her symptoms dramatically improved. Best of all, Emmy’s getting a better night’s sleep! Her mouth is closed now, and the snoring and sleep pauses have resolved.

“Cases like Emmy’s are not only difficult for the child, but the parents, too. The caretaking of a sick child is stressful. Children with chronic throat infections miss days from school, and parents miss work so they can care for their child. The good news - after surgery, parents see a decrease in infections – which means less antibiotic usage. Also, if the inflamed tonsils or adenoids were causing sleep issues such as snoring or sleep apnea – those issues are usually resolved after surgery,” said Johnston.

According to Dr. Johnston there are well-established indications for tonsil and/or adenoid removal. The American Academy of Otolaryngology (ENT) recommends consideration for tonsil removal if a child gets tonsillitis in the following frequency: either seven infections in one year, five infections in each of two consecutive years, or three infections in each of three consecutive years.

“My husband and I were nervous about our daughter having surgery, but the staff at Silver Cross Hospital and Dr. Johnston made us feel confident all would go well. It’s such a relief to see our daughter healthy and happy doing the things she loves like drawing, coloring and painting.”

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.