The adenoids are a cluster of tissues located in the back of the nasal cavity. Like the tonsils, they help keep your body healthy by trapping harmful pathogens (bacteria and viruses).
Because your adenoids essentially catch the pathogens entering your body, they sometimes temporarily swell while fighting off an infection. The swelling eventually subsides, but it can also linger and contribute to the development of adenoid hypertrophy (enlargement of the adenoids), which can trigger noisy breathing, nasal obstruction, sleep apnea, persistent ear infections, among other symptoms.
If your child is experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, which are unresponsive to a lengthy course of conservative interventions, your ENT doctor may recommend surgically removing the adenoids to completely address the problem.
Here’s a brief guide to adenoidectomy to help you get a basic understanding of it, particularly how to prepare for it, what to expect during and after the procedure, and when to call your doctor.
Preparing for the Procedure
Before the procedure, your ENT doctor will ask you about whether your child is taking medications, as certain drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or aspirin, need to be avoided at least a week prior to the surgery. In addition, your child must not eat or drink anything the night before their procedure.
What to Expect During the Surgery
During the surgery, your child will be placed under general anesthesia. Your ENT surgeon will then place a small tool called a retractor into your child’s mouth to keep it open. Using a transoral endoscope for precise guidance and to prevent damage to nearby structures, your surgeon will then remove your child’s adenoids, most likely using a cutting tool (debrider) or a spoon-shaped tool called (curette).
Recovery After an Adenoidectomy
As soon as the anesthesia wears off and your child awakens, they may be allowed to go home. However, if your child is younger than three years old or has other health-related issues, they may need to stay overnight. In any case, your ENT surgeon will provide detailed post-operative instructions to ensure your child recovers safely and successfully.
Your child won’t require a special diet, but you should give them soft foods since they are likely to experience a sore throat. Cold foods, such as ice cream, fruit slushies, and yogurt are effective at soothing inflammation.
Also, it helps to make sure your child takes their medication, as ordered by your ENT surgeon.
Your child may return to school, as recommended by their doctor, but should avoid engaging in strenuous activities whether in school or at home.
When to Call Your Doctor
Mild sore throat, runny nose, noisy breathing, and/or bad breath are some of the expected side effects of the surgery. These issues should subside within several days.
You should reach out to your ENT surgeon, especially if your child experiences the following, which are possible signs of complication:
- Fever higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Sharp or persistent pain or headache
- Increased swelling or redness of the eyes or nose
- Severe bleeding from the nose or mouth
Adenoidectomy in Georgetown, Texas
At Georgetown ENT, board-certified ENT surgeon Dr. Scott Franklin is an adenoidectomy expert, and he takes pride in his unwavering dedication to ensuring exceptional treatment outcomes. You can trust Dr. Franklin to take all necessary measures to ensure your child’s safety, comfort, and successful recovery.
To be one of Dr. Franklin’s satisfied patients, give us a call at (512) 869-0604 or fill out our convenient online request form to arrange your visit.