What is an adenoidectomy?
An adenoidectomy is the surgical procedure for adenoid removal. The adenoids are a cluster of tissues that sit above the tonsils behind the nose and the roof of the mouth. When these become enlarged, it is known as adenoid hypertrophy, which is a medical condition that should be treated by an ear, nose and throat physician. Enlarged adenoids treatment options may vary depending on the severity of the condition, and in some cases require adenoidectomy.
Why is an adenoidectomy performed?
Adenoidectomies are performed when patients suffer from multiple cases of enlarged adenoids or strep throat that cannot be successfully treated with medication. It may also be recommended by your doctor if you have suffered from repeated or severe cases of adenoid hypertrophy. Additionally, patients who suffer from snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may also benefit from an adenoidectomy when the adenoids become so swollen that they interfere with normal breathing.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Adenoidectomy?
Adenoidectomy is a procedure that is usually performed on children. This is because, after age 7, the adenoids tend to decrease in size. By a child's teenage years, these small glands may be all but gone, never to enlarge again. Adenoidectomy may be necessary if a child experiences chronic throat or ear infections that either do not fully resolve or that recur in spite of treatment with antibiotics. In the vast majority of cases, this minor surgical procedure is considered safe and necessary. Patients who visit New York ENT can expect a thorough consultation and examination to determine if adenoidectomy is needed and will achieve beneficial results that improve a child's quality of life.
What Is the Recovery and Aftercare for the Adenoidectomy Procedure?
The adenoidectomy procedure does not involve incisions and stitches. Therefore, recovery is relatively simple and brief. Patients will experience some degree of discomfort that occurs in the ears, nose, and throat. Symptoms like pain, difficulty swallowing, and itching or scratchiness may continue for several days. The post-operative instructions provided by our office include approved medications that can be taken to improve comfort. Medication should be administered only as directed. After having an adenoidectomy, a patient may be at risk of dehydration. To offset this risk, parents may give their children popsicles. This easy remedy soothes irritation with cooling and may pave the way for the patient to drink more fluids. In addition to maintaining adequate hydration, patients benefit from eating soft foods. Options include oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, and soup. These items may only be needed for a few days, but denser and crunchier foods should be added in gradually and with continual check-ins with the child. In addition to resting, eating soft foods, and staying hydrated, patients should not go to work or school and should not travel, especially by airplane, for two weeks after adenoid removal.
Are There Any Risks Associated with an Adenoidectomy?
The adenoidectomy procedure is quite common. More than 125,000 procedures are performed annually in the United States. This procedure is considered safe with a very low risk of complication for healthy children. The side effects of adenoidectomy include nausea, fever, ear pain, sore throat, bad breath, and temporary difficulty swallowing.
How Can I Prepare For The Adenoidectomy Procedure?
The throat and mouth are more prone to bleeding than most other areas of the body. Before scheduling adenoidectomy, the doctor may order a blood test to measure the patient's clotting ability. Blood tests may also measure red and white blood cell count. The tests that occur before surgery are done to ensure that the risks associated with the procedure are low. Before adenoidectomy, parents or patients are given detailed instructions that discuss what to do and what to avoid. For example, patients should avoid medications and supplements that can thin the blood. Aspirin can thin the blood, as can ibuprofen. As an alternative, if necessary, the patient may take or be given acetaminophen (Tylenol). Patients may eat and drink normally up until midnight before their procedure. After midnight, no food or drink, including water.
What Are the Symptoms of Enlarged Adenoids?
Adenoid removal surgery is performed to reduce the symptoms of enlarged adenoids. These include:
- Frequently breathing through the mouth
- Poor sleep quality
- Pauses in breathing during sleep (sleep apnea)
- Noisy breathing
- Dry mouth or cracked lips
- Persistent ear infections
- Chronic stuffy nose
These symptoms can be indicative of enlarged adenoids. However, they do not confirm this condition. A thorough consultation and examination are needed to reach an accurate diagnosis.
What does an adenoidectomy involve?
An adenoidectomy is an outpatient procedure that is short in duration. The patient is given general anesthesia during the procedure, and waits several hours after surgery to leave the hospital or clinic. In general, patients will recover within 10 days, and have minimal changes to diet during recovery.
- Reduced likelihood that a throat infection will occur
- Airway increases, helping those suffering from snoring or OSA
- Short procedure time
- Patients generally recover within 10 days
- Outpatient procedure
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.