Childhood is a time where many children have accidents, but some can be more serious than others. After an accident with trauma to the head, it can often be a good idea to get the child reviewed by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon.
What are some signs we may need to see an ENT surgeon?
If your child is having difficulty breathing following the accident, this can be a sign that the nose, throat or sinus cavities have been compromised. Bleeding and swelling should also stop or greatly reduce after the first few days, so if your child continues to have heavy bleeding and increased swelling this can be a sign that there is still damage to the blood vessels in the face. This should be investigated as it can be very uncomfortable for your child and can lead to infections if left untreated.
How will the surgeon diagnose the issue?
Make sure to bring in any scans or x-rays you have of this injury for the surgeon to review. They may want your child to have more scans taken to see if the bones are healing correctly. They will also do a physical examination to see where there is swelling, as well as checking for obstructions in the nose and throat. Finally, they will also ask for some information on symptoms such as difficulties in swallowing and talking, challenges in breathing (including if the child is snoring or struggling to breathe while asleep), as well as information on the pattern of any pain or discomfort. This can help them determine the best course of treatment.
How long will the surgery take?
Most ENT surgery will be performed as day surgery at a local hospital. However, if there is significant swelling or a risk of your child have compromised breathing they may need to stay in the hospital until their breathing is back to normal. You will then have a follow-up appointment with the ENT surgeon a few days after the surgery to ensure that everything is healing well.
If your child has sustained an ear, nose or throat injury after an accident it is important to get it treated. Left untreated injuries in this area can lead to problems with breathing, speech or recurrent infections due to compromised structures. By having a check-up following an in to the face you can ensure that any injuries are treated quickly so your child is not in any unnecessary pain.