The Upside and Downside of Adenoids
An adenoid is a mass of tissue above the roof of the mouth. Responsible for fighting off infection, adenoids can frequently become inflamed. Inflamed adenoids can cause a host of health issues. Adenoid removal or adenoidectomy can resolve issues like snoring, sleep apnea, or ear infections.
What’s an adenoidectomy?
According to a recent study, about 130,000 adenoidectomies happen yearly in the US. Performed mainly on children, the simple procedure can take less than 60 minutes. Under general anesthesia, the surgeon goes through the mouth and makes an incision on the adenoid. The area is then sealed to prevent bleeding. Here’s what patients can expect after adenoid surgery.
Waking up after surgery
After this minimally invasive surgery, patients recover from the anesthesia for a few hours. The doctor will monitor other conditions including fever, bleeding, and vomiting. In some cases, vomiting blood occurs if the patient swallowed during the surgery. In many cases, patients can go home the same day of the surgery. An overnight stay may be needed in rare cases.
The first steps to recovery
The first few days after adenoid surgery can be uncomfortable. A sore throat and swelling occur, along with fever and ear pain. Hydration is important in helping with pain and keeping the throat lubricated. A sore throat can last for up to three weeks after surgery. Some simple dos and don’ts can make adenoidectomy recovery simple.
Do eat the right foods
Some foods can irritate the throat. Stay away from spicy foods and snacks like nuts or pretzels. Consume cool liquids for the first few days. Patients can then move onto soft, cold foods like smoothies, yogurt or pudding.
Don’t take unprescribed medications
A doctor may prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. Other medications like decongestants can slow the recovery process. Patients should check with a doctor before taking any more medication.
Do make sure to rest
Avoid large crowds and performing strenuous work for at least one week after adenoid surgery. Patients are prone to infection during the first week. After two weeks, patients should be able to resume normal activity. Avoid swimming and diving for at least two months post surgery.
Expect a follow-up visit
The surgeon may schedule a visit a couple of weeks after the adenoidectomy. At this appointment, patients can express any concerns or discuss symptoms. If necessary, the doctor can request further tests or medicine.
What to expect most? Relief
With proper aftercare, patients will experience an improvement in breathing after an adenoidectomy. Adenoid surgery has a high success rate of relieving breathing issues, snoring, and sleep apnea in children and some adults. Patients who experience breathing problems may discuss with a healthcare provider if an adenoidectomy is the right treatment.