Adenoidectomy is an outpatient surgical procedure on the lymph tissue located at the back of the nose and throat. The adenoids act as bacterial and viral filters in children up to their teenage years. However, adenoids can cause chronic ear, nose and throat problems, including infection and throat obstruction in some children. If you or your child needs an adenoidectomy, here is what to expect after the surgery, as well as the post-operative details you need during recovery.
Why Would Someone Need an Adenoidectomy?
Adenoidectomy removes the glands at the backmost part of the nose and the tops of the eustachian tubes in the throat. Adenoids are responsible for filtering the bacteria and viruses which invade the throat and lungs. They also make infection-fighting antibodies.
In children and younger teens, the adenoids are active. However, as a child becomes older, the size and function of the adenoids sharply drops off. In essence, the body no longer needs them in the fight against contagious diseases.
Sadly, adenoids can become overactive and inflamed–mostly in children and rarely in adults. This inflammation and the associated increase in size can lead to:
- Multiple sinus infections
- Recurrent otitis media, or middle ear infections
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), characterized by loud snoring and breathing cessation during the night
- Recurring tonsillitis, including strep throat
- Hearing loss
- Mouth breathing
Your ENT doctor will determine if conservative treatment measures are not working and if surgical removal of the adenoids would produce a better, and longstanding, outcome.
Adenoidectomy is done with general anesthesia. Typically, there are no sutures, but instead, the otolaryngologist cauterizes the surgical site.
What Happens After Anesthesia Wears Off?
Once anesthesia wears off in the recovery room, a patient usually has a very sore throat. Nasal congestion is common, too, with some limited bleeding from the surgical sites. Patients are closely monitored for pain and for swallowing and breathing difficulties.
Most children and adults return home the same day with a course of oral antibiotics. Also, they may feel nauseous and experience throat and ear pain. Over the counter pain medication can be used to control this discomfort.
What Post-operative Care Is Needed at Home?
At home, post-operative care lasts for a week or so. The ENT specialist will tell you how long you should avoid strenuous activity, refrain from blowing your nose and simply rest quietly as much as possible.
In addition, most patients benefit from:
- Soft foods, such as applesauce, mashed potatoes and ice cream
- Cold drinks, such as milk shakes, smoothies and plenty of water
- An ice collar applied to the throat
Be sure to call your otolaryngologist in the event of:
- Coughing up blood clots (brownish, like coffee grounds)
- High fever days after the procedure
- Inability to swallow at all
- Inability to eat soft foods or drink cold beverages
What Are the Long-term Benefits of Adenoidectomy?
Once recovered and healed, adenoidectomy patients enjoy:
- Improved hearing
- Decreased snoring
- Less mouth breathing
- More restful sleep
- Fewer sinus, throat and middle ear infections
Adenoidectomy Surgery in Georgetown, TX
At Georgetown Ear, Nose and Throat, we see many patients who feel much better after removal of their adenoids. Our board-certified otolaryngologist carefully evaluates people–both children and adults– who spend too much time being sick due to ear, nose and throat infections. When an adenoidectomy is the best treatment choice, Dr. Scott William Franklin performs these procedures himself with excellent results.
To learn more about adenoidectomy and what recovery and aftercare looks like, call our office team to arrange a helpful consultation: (512) 869-0604. In addition, you can request your appointment here. We look forward to helping you improve your ear, nose and throat health. Call today!