Removal of Adenoids / Adenoidectomy

The adenoid is one of 120 lymph glands in the head and neck. It can be very large in kids because they suffer from more frequent upper respiratory tract infections than adults. Adults rarely have adenoids as the tissue shrinks about age 7-10. Removal of the adenoids does not lessen the resistance to infection because there are so many lymph glands in the head and neck.

Children have their adenoids removed if they are enlarged, leading to

  • Chronic nasal obstruction and discharge
  • Prolonged colds
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Glue ear

Dentists are particularly concerned about enlarged adenoids because of dental changes which may lead to the need for orthodontic treatment later. A chronically blocked nose causes mouth breathing. With the mouth open the position of the palate rises leading to a narrow upper jaw and crowding of the teeth.If the mouth is open chronically kids can develop an overbite. The tooth enamel can also become chalky in colour.

Adenoidectomy takes 20 minutes under a general anaesthetic. A tablespoon of blood is lost. Take care not to use Nurofen or Fish Oil 2 weeks before or after surgery or blood loss can be greater.

Adenoidectomy is day surgery. Panadol is required on the first night and three days of school are missed to reduce the risk of bleeding.

Kids can breathe better straight away. This leads to better sleep.