Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoids. Adenoids are made of tissue located in the back of the nose near the throat. They are thought to be involved in developing immunity against infections in children.
Anatomy of the Adenoids
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Adenoidectomy is usually done to remove enlarged adenoids that are causing a blockage in the nasal passage. It may also be used to treat long-term sinus infections and recurrent ear infections.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an adenoidectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Your doctor will likely do the following:
Do not eat or drink anything six hours prior to the procedure.
General anesthesia is used. It will block any pain and keep you asleep through the procedure.
The adenoids will be surgically removed through the mouth. A scalpel or another type of tool will be used to remove the adenoid tissue. An electrical current can also be used. Sometimes, the adenoids are removed through the nose. Gauze packs will be placed at the site of the procedure to prevent bleeding.
Radiofrequency ablation is a type of procedure that uses heat to destroy tissue. It may be used to reduce the volume and size of the adenoids. This method often has less bleeding. It also seems to cause less pain.
You will be monitored in a recovery room until the anesthesia wears off.
Less than 45 minutes
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Pain after the procedure is not uncommon. Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine.
It may be possible to leave on the same day as the procedure. Your doctor may choose to keep you overnight if there are complications.
Recovery will take 7-14 days. After the procedure, you may have:
To help relieve some discomfort and speed recovery:
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Academy of Otolaryngology
American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology
Adenoidectomy Patient Information. Duke University Health System. DukeHealth.org website. Available at: http://www.dukehealth.org/services/otolaryngology/care_guides/adenoidectomy_patient_information . Updated October 5, 2010. Accessed October 30, 2012.
Adenoidectomy. Canadian Society of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entcanada.org/public2/patient8.asp . Accessed October 30, 2012.
All about adenoids. Kids Health.org website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/adenoids.html# . Updated November 2010. Accessed October 30, 2012.
Gigante J. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Pediatr Rev . 2005;26(6):199-203.
Paradise JL, Bernard BS, Colborn DK, Janosky JE. Assessment of adenoidal obstruction in children: clinical signs versus roentgenographic findings. Pediatrics . 1998;101(6):979-986.
Shehata EM, Ragab SM, Behiry ABS, Erfan FA, Gamea AM. Telescopic-assisted radiofrequency adenoidectomy: a prospective randomized controlled trial. Laryngoscope . 2005;115(1):162-166.
Tonsils and adenoids. American Academy of Otolaryngology website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tonsilsAdenoids.cfm . Updated January 2011. Accessed October 30, 2012.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
Last reviewed October 2012 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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