An adenoidectomy is a surgery to remove swollen adenoids.
Adenoids are tiny lumps of tissue located at the back of the neck, behind the nose. They are a component of the immune system and help fight against infection.
Why is it Done
Adenoidectomy is most commonly performed on children to treat symptoms caused by swollen adenoids.
This can result in pain or partial obstruction in the airway. Some problems are:
- Trouble breathing via the nose, which can lead to snoring or mouth breathing.
- Sleep apnea, a condition where breathing pauses and starts while sleeping.
- Glue ear, a middle ear infection that can lead to hearing loss.
- Frequently occurring ear infections.
Around the age of four, the adenoids start to shrink and eventually vanish.
Depending on how severe the issues are, your doctor could suggest monitoring to see whether these problems resolve themselves instead of going through an adenoidectomy.
Adults with similar conditions may require an adenoidectomy, but this is rare.
What Happens During an Adenoidectomy
Before undergoing an adenoidectomy, your child will likely be unable to consume food or drink for a while. Since they are under general anaesthesia, they won’t experience any pain during the procedure. It generally takes about 30 minutes.
A surgeon removes the adenoids through the mouth. A precise cutout will be made, or they will be eliminated using specialised equipment that employs heat or radio frequency energy. Dissolvable stitches might be used to stop any bleeding.
Adults undergoing adenoidectomy go through the same procedure.
An adenoidectomy may be performed concurrently with a tonsillectomy or surgery to insert a tiny tube into the ear to remove fluid (grommet surgery).
After the procedure
Your child will be in the recovery room and will be given medication to help relieve swelling and pain.
They may do the following after the operation:
- Feel sick.
- Have a blocked nose.
- Have throat pain and sore ears.
- Experience a brief change in their tone – it may seem like they’re talking through their nose.
- Have a stinking breath.
The recovery period following an adenoidectomy is typically one week.
Adenoidectomy is a common and simple treatment with fewer complications. Complications are uncommon; however, they can include:
- After the procedure, there might be bleeding in the neck that requires another procedure in order.
- Damages to teeth.
- Infection after the adenoids were removed – antibiotics might help with this.
- Breathing difficulties caused by throat swelling.