Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoids. This surgery is performed when a patient experiences chronic ear infections or if they block breathing through the nose. The surgery itself involves removing the adenoids through the mouth using a tool that uses heat to remove the tissue. Recovery time is usually a couple of days and typically only requires Tylenol or ibuprofen for pain control.
Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids
Tonsils and adenoids are part of the immune system and are basically lymph nodes that line the throat. Tonsils can be enlarged for a number of reasons. Some patients are simply born with large tonsils and adenoids. Alternatively they can become enlarged due to infection, either viral or bacterial. That being said, just because a tonsil is small, does not mean that it isn’t infected.
Enlarged adenoids can cause problems with chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, nasal obstruction, chronic ear infections and eustachian tube dysfunction. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can cause obstructive sleep apnea.
Enlarged tonsils or adenoids that are not causing problems with infection or obstructive sleep apnea need no treatment. If patient is having enough strep throats or pharyngitis to meet criteria for surgery should have the tonsils and adenoids removed. If the child or patient only has nasal symptoms, typically would only remove the adenoids. Adenoids typically regress/shrink as a child turns into an adult. Because of this, it is fairly rare that an adult requires an adenoidectomy.