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Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoid glands.

Every individual is born with adenoid gland, which is located at the back of the throat and its role is to provide immunity. The gland is present only in kids and it starts shrinking as they grow. Adenoids usually disappear before teens.


Who needs adenoidectomy?

Not all kids require adenoidectomy. Your doctor would suggest the operation when inflammation or swelling in the adenoids (a condition known as adenoiditis) is causing other health concerns like: 

  • Breathing problems while sleeping. Your kid sleeps with mouth open and makes rattling sound and his/her sleep is terribly disrupted at night. Adenoidectomy is often a treatment for sleep apnea.
  • The swollen tissue can block the opening of Eustachian tubes in the ear, leading to problems in hearing. Fluids accumulate inside the ears and they are become sore and painful. This condition is known as glue ear which can be cured by removing the adenoid


Preparing your kid for adenoidectomy

Your need to explain your kid about the surgery in a positive away- i.e. how the problems he/she is suffering from will vanish after the operation.

Let your doctor know about the medicines your kid might be taking, if he is allergic to anaesthesia, latex, etc. or has a pre-existing medical condition.

Instructions given by doctors before adenoidectomy are: 

  • Stop giving pills to your kid that interfere with blood clotting, e.g. ibuprofen, a week before surgery
  • Eating and drinking are avoided after midnight the night before the surgery

Vital parameters like heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, etc. will be recorded. A mild sedation would be given prior to surgery.

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What happens during the procedure?

Adenoidectomy is done using general anesthesia, so your kid won’t experience any pain.

The surgeon will open the mouth and remove the adenoids through the mouth with the help of a device or prop. There are different techniques of adenoidectomy. Your surgeon might use a surgical tool to cut the tissues and then scrap away the tissues with a curette.

The second technique is cauterization which involves application of heat, electricity or radiofrequency to remove the adenoid tissues with the help of a diathermy tool. The same instrument repairs the broken blood vessels, thereby eliminating the need of stitches.

An absorbent material, called packing material is then used to control bleeding.

Adenoidectomy takes 15-30 minutes.


What to expect after the surgery

Your doctor will record the vital signs and parameters of your child before releasing him on the same day or next day.

You will be given specific instructions by the doctor after the surgery which you need to follow exactly.

They include: 

  • Soft food, liquid food, light and cool diet is advised. Avoid serving hot foods or hot drinks for few weeks
  • Make sure your kid takes ample rest and refrains from sports in the recovery period
  • Do not give your any medicines to your kid except those prescribed by your doctor. Antibiotics are usually given to prevent infection
  • Mild vomiting, cracked lips, ear pain, change in voice, bad breath, blocked nose, etc. are common after operation. But report to your doctor if they persist 
Complete recovery takes about 1 to 2 weeks


Are there any risks associated with the procedure?

Risks of adenoidectomy are rare because doctors take extra caution while performing the surgery. One out of hundred kids might suffer from severe bleeding during the operation and infection post surgery.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: July 01, 2014

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