An adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the adenoids. These structures are small glands located at the back of the nose and upper throat.
Adenoids are part of the immune system and play a role in fighting infections. However, when they become enlarged, they can cause a range of health problems that may require an adenoidectomy.
What Are Adenoids?
Adenoids are a patch of tissue located at the far end of the nasal passage. Similar to tonsils, adenoids are vital in safeguarding your health by capturing dangerous bacteria and viruses you inhale or ingest.
Adenoids defend against infection in infants and young kids. As the immune system matures, their importance diminishes, and the body finds alternative methods to combat germs.
Typically, adenoids start to reduce around the age of 5 in children and frequently vanish by the teenage years.
Why Should Adenoids Be Removed?
Adenoids are situated centrally and serve as a crucial hub within the upper respiratory tract. They have a bunch of little nooks and crannies called crypts. Unfortunately, the blood flow in there isn’t great, making it easy for bacteria to gather and cause trouble.
Because they are connected to other organs, it can make sicknesses a more common issue than it needs to be. For instance, children may have ear infections that don’t go away even with antibiotics. Patients may even experience hearing problems or miss school.
It’s worth noting that as kids grow up, their adenoids typically shrink. That means adults don’t usually need to have them taken out. For individuals whose adenoids don’t shrink, adenoidectomy may be necessary.
Sometimes, allergies can cause the adenoids to get bigger. They often go back down on their own, but if they get inflamed, that can be a problem. If this keeps happening a lot, a doctor might recommend taking them out.
Chronic Infection Of The Adenoids
One of the most common reasons for an adenoidectomy is a chronic infection of the adenoids. When adenoids become infected, they can swell and become inflamed, leading to symptoms such as:
- A scratchy or irritated throat
- Nasal congestion or a runny nose
- Dry mouth
- The sensation of blocked ears
- A nasal or ‘blocked nose’ sound
- Yellow or green mucus coming out of the nose
- Difficulty breathing (because of a stuffy nose)
- Swollen neck glands
- Sleep apnea, where you occasionally and temporarily stop breathing while sleeping
Sometimes, infections return even with antibiotics. In those cases, an adenoidectomy might be necessary to prevent future infections.
The procedure may also help treat chronic nasal congestion or blockages caused by enlarged adenoids. If left untreated, these can cause problems with speech and hearing in kids.
Recurrent Ear Infections
Adenoids can cause recurrent ear problems when enlarged, especially in children. When the adenoids become inflamed, they can block the Eustachian tube connecting the middle ear to the back of the throat.
The tube helps regulate pressure in the ear and drain fluid out, which is important for avoiding ear infections. This can lead to fluid buildup in the middle ear, causing:
- Hearing loss
- Recurrent infections
An adenoidectomy can help the ear drain better and relieve pain and pressure.
In some cases, an adenoidectomy may help treat sleep apnea in children. Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. This leads to poor sleep quality and other health problems.
Enlarged adenoids can block the airway during sleep, leading to sleep apnea.
The condition can cause a lot of problems for the body, like issues with the heart, brain, and metabolism. Kids who have symptoms of sleep apnea should get tested with a sleep study called polysomnography.
Treatment should be based on the test results, how bad the symptoms are, and other risk factors.
The main treatment for people with enlarged adenoids is surgery to remove them. However, if the sleep apnea is mild, medicines like nasal sprays or intranasal steroids may help.
Adenoidectomy Surgery In Georgetown, TX
Overall, an adenoidectomy can be an effective treatment for a range of health problems caused by enlarged adenoids. If you or your child is experiencing symptoms such as chronic infections, nasal congestion, or sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about an adenoidectomy. While it is a surgical procedure, it is a relatively low-risk surgery with a high success rate. It can greatly improve your quality of life.
Do you need adenoidectomy surgery? Georgetown ENT’s double board-certified Dr. Scott W. Franklin is a specialist in tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy procedures. He has extensive experience treating chronic adenoid issues in adults and children, providing guidance and state-of-the-art treatments to ensure success.
Our healthcare team is dedicated to helping patients achieve normal breathing and permanently resolving chronic issues. Dr. Franklin can evaluate your condition and determine the most effective treatment method for optimal results. To book an appointment with the best ENT doctor in Georgetown, call (512) 869-0604 or use our online request form.