Adenoids, similar to lymph nodes, are part of the immune system. These lumps of tissue are located behind the nose and the roof of your mouth, near the eustachian tubes. They are prominent in children under the age of seven but begin to shrink as the child grows up. By the time they reach teenage years, the adenoids have most likely shrunk completely. However, in some cases, the adenoids do not shrink and can cause adenoid infections well into adulthood.
An adenoidectomy is a surgery to remove the adenoids when they become enlarged and obstruct the airways. Symptoms of enlarged adenoids include breathing problems, chronic sinus infections, and snoring.
Adenoidectomy: Two Different Approaches
An adenoidectomy is usually performed by an ear, nose, and throat doctor. It may be performed using two different techniques. The conventional method involves blind curettage, where the doctor removes the adenoids in the space above the roof of the mouth. There is a risk involved with this technique, as there is a chance that some of the tissue will remain. Up to 34 percent of the tissue can remain intact with this method. The surgeon may follow up a conventional adenoidectomy with an endoscopic assisted adenoidectomy, which is another technique to remove the remaining tissue.
An endoscopic assisted adenoidectomy involves the use of an endoscope, which is a slender and tubular instrument with a camera attached to it. The surgeon has a good view of the adenoids and allows him to remove more tissue. This procedure has a reduced chance of damaging the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear cavity with the nasopharynx. Endoscopic-assisted adenoidectomy may be performed with a conventional curette or a radiofrequency curette.
Endoscopic-assisted adenoidectomy is highly recommended, from the beginning of the operation. An adenoidectomy almost always results in recovery and fewer ear and breathing problems. Be sure to follow the doctor’s post-operative instructions.
Do You Really Need an Adenoidectomy?
An adenoidectomy is commonly lumped together with a tonsillectomy. These are two different procedures, targeting different tissues. Tonsils are also located in the back of your throat, near the adenoids. The tonsils and adenoids swell in response to an infection. Inflamed tonsils can also obstruct the airways. If the enlarged tonsils cause difficulty breathing and sleep apnea, and tonsillitis occurs at least seven times a year, then your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy. Tonsillitis can disrupt sleep, which is a problem for anyone, adults and children alike.
An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon will diagnose your condition and recommend the right treatment. An ENT surgeon can perform an adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy.
ENT Surgeon in Georgetown, TX
Any hearing and breathing difficulties should be brought to the attention of a doctor. At Georgetown ENT, Dr. Scott Franklin is an expert in adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy procedures and has treated countless adult and pediatric patients. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Franklin, call our clinic at (512) 869-0604, or use our online request form. We look forward to serving you soon.