Adenoids are glands that help keep you healthy by producing white blood cells (antibodies) in response to infection. The glands are located just behind the soft palate where the nose drains into the throat. In most people, adenoids are largest during childhood and shrink or disappear as the child matures into adolescence and adulthood.
While all surgeries carry some risk, an adenoidectomy is a simple outpatient surgery to remove the adenoids. There are several reasons why a patient may need to have their adenoids removed. In children, adenoids are often removed during myringotomy (tubes) to prevent recurring ear infections, but an adenoidectomy may also be recommended for other reasons.
Recurring Strep Throat
Many people will get strep throat once or twice in their lifetimes, but if you have multiple instances of strep throat, an adenoidectomy may be recommended. Strep throat that is not treated or recurs often can lead to other health complications, including rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can damage the heart and liver.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Enlarged adenoids can be a factor in obstructive sleep apnea. Because traditional treatments, such as a CPAP mask or dental device cannot treat an airway blockage caused by enlarged adenoids, they may need to be removed in order to enable you to breathe and sleep better at night.
Recurring Respiratory Infections
Adenoidectomies are often performed in conjunction with tonsillectomies — surgery to remove the tonsils — to treat respiratory infections like chronic bronchitis. If you or your child experience multiple respiratory infections in the course of a year that don’t respond well to antibiotics, an adenoidectomy may help.
What Does an Adenoidectomy Involve?
An adenoidectomy is a short outpatient procedure performed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist. It is performed under general anesthesia. You will be fully recovered within a week to 10 days.
If you are suffering from adenoid hypertrophy and believe you may need an adenoidectomy, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board-certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of neck and throat conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at 212-873-6036 to schedule an appointment today.