Adenoids are small glands located at the back of the roof of the mouth where the nose and throat connect. These glands produce antibodies to help fight infections. Usually, the adenoids get smaller during puberty and by adulthood may disappear altogether.
Frequent throat infections can cause enlarged adenoids.
When the adenoids become enlarged, breathing can be labored and put pressure on the eustachian tubes, which connect the back of the nose to the middle ear. This can lead to frequent ear infections and respiratory health problems. Other symptoms of enlarged adenoids include blocked nose, sore throat, snoring, difficulty swallowing, and swollen glands in the neck.
Breathe easily: Adenoid removal
A child may be born with enlarged adenoids or may have enlarged adenoids due to frequent throat infections. If the adenoids are enlarged, a head and neck surgeon can remove them. The child must not have anything to eat or drink for several hours before the operation. Before the surgery, the doctor will give the child a general anesthetic so that he or she will sleep through the operation. The surgeon will then cauterize the adenoids. The procedure takes around 30 minutes.
What to expect after surgery
After surgery, the child will be taken to a recovery room. The child will then be able to drink clear fluids. During the recovery time, the child’s temperature will be taken at regular intervals and given pain medication if necessary. Nurses will monitor the child for bleeding or vomiting. Vomiting is typical and is usually a brownish colored liquid from swallowing any blood during the operation. Most children will be ready to go home after about three hours of monitoring. The child will usually have a follow-up appointment within two weeks after the surgery to make sure there are no further problems.
Risks and complications for adenoid removal
Any child who is undergoing adenoid removal should be in good health before the operation to ensure a quick recovery. Children with Down syndrome or a bleeding disorder will require special considerations. Children with a neuromuscular disorder or history of a cleft palate may experience speech abnormalities after the surgery. While no surgery is risk free, adenoid removal is typically simple and without complications.