After the operation
You may notice that your child sounds different immediately after their operation. Some children become much clearer, whilst others sound blocked up (this is caused by swelling, and is not a true reflection of how your child will eventually sound). Remember, true change in how your child sounds will take place over many months.
You may also notice that your child snores more than usual after the operation. This should settle down in the next 2-4 weeks. If it persists, their sleep is disrupted or you are worried, please contact us.
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You should have been given advice on the ward about the right sort of food your child should eat after the operation. Your child needs very soft food for at least two weeks.
Many children enjoy food like pasta, mashed potatoes, soup and scrambled egg. You can use those as a base for keeping a healthy diet. Yoghurt, ice cream, custard and jelly are also popular. Remind your child to rinse their mouth with a glass of water after they have eaten anything, especially if it is sweet.
What happens next?
We will contact you by telephone three months after surgery.
Six months after surgery, your child will be invited for a detailed speech assessment to check on their progress.
It will help your child to discover that air can now flow through their mouth without escaping down their nose. The following ideas may be helpful, but remember to keep all activities very gentle:
- Try cutting up tissue paper into fish shapes and softly blowing them off the back of your hand. Ask your child to do the same but with a gentle ‘puh’ sound.
- Bubbles can be fun! First, catch a bubble on the wand, then ask your child to blow on it to make it gently wobble or ‘pop’ off the wand. Later, see if your child can blow the bubble themselves.
- Straws: Gently blow down a straw into a glass of water to make bubbles. Try different sizes of straws. Talk to your child about the air coming down the middle of the tongue and through the tube.
Whenever you are doing these gentle blowing activities or making sounds together, talk about how the air feels as it comes out of your mouth, over your lips etc. Gentle nose-holding may be helpful at times. At all times encourage your child to use a gentle voice and avoid shouting. Straining to achieve a particular sound is unhelpful.
How long should my child stay off school?
The week of surgery and the following week. As soon as your child is eating / drinking well, they can return to school.
When can my child play sport again?
Any time after two weeks once they feel well again, but please tell us if your child takes part in any sport that is particularly energetic. Leave at least four weeks before swimming again.
Does my child need speech therapy now?
Not all children need speech therapy. We will liaise with your local service about what is best for your child.
Is there anything my child should avoid?
Avoid anything that requires effort to blow. If your child plays a wind instrument then we will have talked to you about this when planning the operation. If you are unsure, please ask.