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Adenoidectomy: What is it and How is the Surgery Done?

Adenoidectomy: What is it and How is the Surgery Done?

Adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of adenoids. Adenoids are lymphoid tissues that are located in the upper area of the mouth where the nose unites with the throat. Adenoids help to create antibodies that fight infections. In most cases, adenoids reduce in size during adolescence and disappear completely during adulthood.

The tissue composition of adenoids and tonsils are similar but the diseases caused by infected adenoids and tonsils are different. Surgeons often recommend adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy at the same time. Chronic throat infections and respiratory infections cause swelling and pain in both glands.

Adenoidectomy is mostly performed in children.

When is Adenoidectomy Recommended?

Adenoid removal may be suggested if your child has any of the below-mentioned issues:

  • Frequent infection of adenoids that does not heal with medications and causes difficulty in breathing.
  • Frequent infection of ears that does not heal with medications. A frequent ear infection can also affect the hearing capacity.
  • Difficulty in sleeping due to bloated adenoids
  • Accumulation of fluid in the ears
  • Daytime sleepiness or disturbed behaviour due to less sleep
  • Sore throat


Complications of adenoidectomy include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Side effects of anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Injury of Eustachian tube or mandibular condyle

A major side effect of adenoidectomy is a failure to fix existing problems including nasal drainage or ear infections.

Your child may experience a sore throat for a few days after the surgery. This condition heals with medications.

Another rare complication caused by adenoidectomy is the development of nasopharyngeal insufficiency. It is the condition developed after the surgery that causes the soft palate muscle to close improperly. This can cause air to pass via the nose. This condition can make it difficult for the patient to pronounce some words.

Rare complications involved in adenoidectomy are regrowth of adenoid tissue that may require another adenoidectomy.

Discuss with your doctor about all the possible complications and precautions that need to be taken.


How to Prepare for Adenoidectomy?

Your doctor will analyse your child’s medical history before suggesting adenoidectomy.

Your child may be asked to avoid food and drinks a few hours before the surgery to prevent vomiting or choking.

Inform your doctor about all the medications, herbals, and supplements your kid takes. Your doctor may ask you to change the dosage or stop certain medications for a specific period of time. Do not stop or change the dosage of any medications without discussing it with your doctor.

Inform your doctor even if your child has a slight cold or vomiting. Your doctor may ask you to postpone the surgery. Performing the surgery while having a cold or any other health issues increases the risk of complications.

Your doctor may ask you to get a blood test done of your child to check if there’s an issue in blood clotting or if the count of white and red blood cells are normal. This helps to ensure there’s no bleeding disorder during the surgery.

Make sure you inform your doctor if your child is allergic to any medications.

What Happens During Adenoidectomy?

Your child will be given general anaesthesia before the surgery, which means they will be asleep during the surgery. For the procedure, the surgeon will use instruments to get an inside view of the throat and nasal cavity. The surgeon will access the adenoids via the back of the throat. No external incisions are made during the surgery. The adenoid glands are removed. The procedure does not take more than an hour.

What is the Recovery Period of Adenoidectomy?

The recovery period is different based on individual to individual. In most cases, the patients are allowed to go back on the same day. In complicated cases, they may need to be kept under observation for a few days.

It may take a few days or weeks for complete recovery. During the recovery period, your child may experience pain and discomfort accompanied by bad breath and a sore throat. They may be advised to have plenty of cold liquids to aid in recovery.

The child may resume their regular activities within two weeks. Since there are no stitches involved, the operated area may heal on its own.

Post-Surgical Care for Adenoidectomy

  • Make sure your kid consumes soft food that does not require much chewing.
  • They should stay hydrated.
  • It is normal to have a fever. But if the temperature rises above 102-degree F, seek medical help.
  • Do not let them blow their nose.
  • Do not let them consume hot, spicy, and crunchy foods.
  • Desserts and cold food may be soothing for the operated throat.
  • Some of the food options to include in their diet are ice cream, sherbet, yogurt, pudding, fruit juice, and soft-cooked vegetables.
  • You can take the help of an ice pad or ice collar to help your child get rid of the pain. You can make your own ice collar using a waterproof bag and placing ice cubes in the bag.
  • No strenuous activities should be done for at least 10 days. Before letting them resume regular routine, consult your doctor if your child is fit.

Learn more about issues of the Ears, Nose, and Throat here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Apr 03
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel