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Adenoidectomy

Why do children have their adenoids removed?

Adenoids are located in the back of the nose above the soft part of the roof of the mouth, which is called the soft palate.  Although the adenoids are a small part of the immune system,  removal has not been shown to lead to increased severity or frequency of infection.  In fact, removal of enlarged/chronically infected adenoids often reduces the risk of ear and sinus infections.

The most common reasons for removing the adenoids are:

  • Enlarged adenoids causing nasal obstruction and snoring (adenoid hypertrophy)
  • Repeated or continued infection of the adenoids (adenoiditis) or sinuses (sinusitis)
  • Repeated ear infections in children 4 years of age and older (can be done at the same time a tympanosotmy tube placement is done)

How are the adenoids removed?

  • The adenoids are removed in the operating room under general anesthesia.  This is done through the mouth using cautery (electricity converted to heat) to remove the tissue while minimizing any bleeding.
  • This usually takes 15 minutes and children typically go home about an hour later.
  • There is mild postoperative pain, for the first 3-5 days after surgery,  and a low risk of postoperative bleeding or infection during the first week.
  • Activity and travel is limited for one week.

All children who undergo adenoid removal have their soft palate thoroughly examined to ensure they were not born with a defect in this muscle (i.e. ensure the middle of the palate was properly “zippered” from front to back on its top/nasal side).

The risk of finding this in an otherwise normal child is very low (1/1500).  If this is found, partial removal of the adenoids is performed to prevent overly nasal (hypernasal) speech from developing after the surgery.

Why do children have their adenoids removed?

Adenoids are located in the back of the nose above the soft part of the roof of the mouth, which is called the soft palate.  Although the adenoids are a small part of the immune system,  removal has not been shown to lead to increased severity or frequency of infection.  In fact, removal of enlarged/chronically infected adenoids often reduces the risk of ear and sinus infections.

The most common reasons for removing the adenoids are:

  • Enlarged adenoids causing nasal obstruction and snoring (adenoid hypertrophy)
  • Repeated or continued infection of the adenoids (adenoiditis) or sinuses (sinusitis)
  • Repeated ear infections in children 4 years of age and older (can be done at the same time a tympanosotmy tube placement is done)

How are the adenoids removed?

  • The adenoids are removed in the operating room under general anesthesia.  This is done through the mouth using cautery (electricity converted to heat) to remove the tissue while minimizing any bleeding.
  • This usually takes 15 minutes and children typically go home about an hour later.
  • There is mild postoperative pain, for the first 3-5 days after surgery,  and a low risk of postoperative bleeding or infection during the first week.
  • Activity and travel is limited for one week.

All children who undergo adenoid removal have their soft palate thoroughly examined to ensure they were not born with a defect in this muscle (i.e. ensure the middle of the palate was properly “zippered” from front to back on its top/nasal side).

The risk of finding this in an otherwise normal child is very low (1/1500).  If this is found, partial removal of the adenoids is performed to prevent overly nasal (hypernasal) speech from developing after the surgery.