Adenoids are small masses of tissue located at the back of the nose, just above the throat. They are part of the lymphatic system and help to filter out viruses, bacteria, and other particles from the air that we breathe during childhood. Adenoids can become a problem when they swell and block the airway. This can cause difficulty breathing, snoring, sleep apnea, and ear infections.
In children, adenoids often become enlarged due to infection, which can cause difficulty breathing through the nose and recurrent ear infections. In adults, adenoids are usually not visible during physical examinations but may contribute to nasal obstruction or sinusitis (inflammation of sinuses) in some cases.
Adenoidectomy surgery is a procedure to remove adenoids. Adenoidectomy is a simple procedure performed by an ear, nose, and throat surgeon or an otolaryngologist. Here, we will give you an overview of adenoidectomy surgery.
Adenoidectomy Surgery: When Is It Necessary?
Most children with adenoiditis will improve with medical treatment, which may include antibiotics or steroid nasal sprays. However, some children may require surgery to remove their adenoids, or an adenoidectomy, if their symptoms are particularly problematic.
The decision to recommend adenoidectomy is based on several factors, including:
- The child’s age
- The severity of the symptoms
- How long symptoms have been present
- Whether there are any underlying medical conditions present that could complicate surgery or increase the risk for complications from anesthesia
Symptoms that may warrant consideration for the surgical removal of adenoids include:
- Recurrent sore throats
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Mouth breathing
- Snoring or noisy breathing during sleep
- Sleep apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep)
- Enlarged tonsils
- Chronic ear infections
Adenoidectomy is performed with anesthesia, so the patient will be asleep throughout the procedure. The surgery itself is over quickly, and rarely takes over an hour to complete.
For the procedure, the doctor keeps the mouth open using a retractor and then proceeds to remove the adenoid tissue using a specialized tool to scrape it off. Some doctors may also use heat to destroy the tissue and stop the bleeding. You can talk to your doctor to get a better understanding of the technique that will be used for removing your adenoids.
After the removal of the tissue, the doctor will stop the bleeding using the packing material. Then, the patient will be transferred to the recovery room for observation. Patients almost always go home on the same day as the surgery.
How To Prepare for An Adenoidectomy
There isn’t much patient preparation necessary for an adenoidectomy. The doctor will tell you when to stop consuming foods and liquids before the surgery, typically at midnight before the day of surgery. If you take any medications, you may be asked to stop temporarily. It is important that you follow the doctor’s instructions, or else the surgery may need to be rescheduled.
Adenoidectomy in Georgetown, TX
Dr. Scott W. Franklin is our board-certified ENT surgeon at Georgetown ENT. Dr. Franklin is highly experienced in adenoidectomy and performs the surgery on adult and pediatric patients. In addition to adenoidectomy, Dr. Franklin can also perform balloon sinuplasty and ear tube surgery, depending on the needs of the patient and what will give them relief from chronic symptoms and help them breathe and sleep better.