An adenoidectomy is a surgery to remove the adenoids, which are soft tissues that are part of the lymphatic system. Adenoids are located high up in the throat and sit just behind the nose. If the adenoids swell, they can cause an obstruction in the upper airway. During sleep, swollen adenoids can cause loud breathing and snoring, and can cause pauses in breathing, which is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea due to swollen adenoids usually affects young children. Adenoids usually shrink as the child grows, disappearing usually around the age of five. Swollen adenoids can be due to several reasons, usually allergies or infections, or after a bout of illness.
Treatment for enlarged adenoids usually involves surgery or an adenoidectomy. Let’s talk more about what adenoidectomy surgery is and how it can relieve symptoms of pediatric sleep apnea.
An adenoidectomy is a relatively straightforward procedure that can be done in an outpatient setting. However, in some cases, it may require a short hospital stay. An adenoidectomy involves the use of general anesthesia, where the patient will be asleep for the duration of the procedure. The surgery is performed by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon.
First, the surgeon will keep the child’s mouth open with a retractor and use a tool to cut away the tissue. This can be done using various techniques, either using a curette, which is shaped like a spoon, or another tool. A device will be used to control the bleeding. Some ENT surgeons use electricity or radiofrequency to heat the tissue, destroy it, and stop the bleeding. After the removal of the adenoids, the patient will be wheeled into the recovery room and wait until they wake up.
An adenoidectomy usually helps a child go back to breathing easier and living a healthy life, since the glands are removed, eliminating the potential for adenoid infection or swelling that can obstruct breathing. Enlarged adenoids and the poor quality of sleep that obstructive sleep apnea causes can lead to daytime sleepiness, cognitive issues, and behavioral issues in children.
If you suspect that your child is sleeping poorly due to enlarged adenoids, have an ENT doctor evaluate their condition and recommend the best treatment. Although this occurs in very young children, adults can have this problem, too. Sleep apnea in children and adults needs medical treatment.
Adenoidectomy Surgery in Georgetown, TX
Dr. Scott William Franklin at Georgetown ENT is an ENT specialist highly experienced in treating enlarged adenoids and performing adenoidectomy surgery. Dr. Franklin treats adult and pediatric patients in our Georgetown ENT clinic.
Dr. Franklin is uniquely qualified to treat sleep apnea with additional training in sleep medicine. He is double-board certified in otolaryngology and sleep medicine. With his special set of skills, Dr. Franklin can help you breathe and sleep better.