What is it?

Adenoidectomy is the removal of the adenoid pad- lymphoid (immune system) tissue at the very back of the nose. 

Why would this operation be performed?

This operation is predominantly done for children with a blocked nose. In general I try to treat children presenting with nasal obstruction with medications in the first place. But adenoidectomy may be considered particularly if these aren't successful.

Learn more:
Read about nasal obstruction here.

Adenoidectomy may also be performed in children requiring a second set of grommets. The adenoid is very close to the opening of the Eustachian tube and can block the tube opening as well as harbour bacteria which can go up the tube to infect the ear. It has been shown that removing the adenoid at the time of placing a second set of grommets can reduce the frequency of ear infections and the need for further grommet insertions. 

It is more common for adenoidectomy to be done in combination with a tonsillectomy.

Learn more:
Read about adenotonsillectomy click here

How is it done?

This operation is performed under general anaesthesia. The adenoid sits at the back of the nose and is difficult to assess in the clinic. At the time of the operation it can be felt behind the palate and if enlarged is removed using a special instrument. 

What happens after surgery?

Following an adenoidectomy, your child can usually go home the same day. There is a small risk of bleeding after the operation and so your child will be observed in the hospital for around 6 hours. You will be free to go home after that.

What do I do when I get home?

In contrast to a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy alone is not a particularly painful operation. Regular pain relief with paracetamol is generally required in the first few days after the operation. rarely stronger pain relief may be required. I recommend you encourage your child to eat a normal dite as soon as possible after this surgery.

There is a small risk of bleeding in the two weeks after adenoidectomy. This is rare after adenoidectomy alone, probably in the order of 1 in 300 cases. In order to prevent this your child needs to avoid strenuous playing and running around, but otherwise they can return to normal day-to-day activities soon after the operation. You should keep them out of child care or school for at least 1 week. If your child coughs up more than a tablespoon of fresh blood then either call me or proceed directly to your nearest hospital emergency department. 

For detailed post-operative instructions click here.

When will I see you again?

Usually I see you back around 4-6 weeks after the operation