When to go for adenoidectomy?

Like tonsils, adenoids are a group of lymphoid tissue at the back of the nasal passage, protecting the airway from microorganisms like viruses, bacteria and fungi. Adenoids may swell in persistent infections and allergies, needing resection by Best ENT Specialist in Lahore.

Read on to know more about adenoidectomy and its indications:

What is the role of adenoids?

Adenoids are a ring of lymphoid tissue that trap bacteria and viruses entering the nasal and oral passage. Adenoids serve an important purpose in young children, less than 5 years of age. After 5-7 years, the adenoids begin to shrink and almost disappear by teenage.

Frequent infections of the nose, ear and sinuses cause the adenoids to swell, and prone to infections; this is called adenoiditis. Recurrent adenoiditis is an indication for removal, and this procedure is called adenoidectomy. Healthcare providers also remove tonsils along with adenoids at the time of adenoidectomy.   

What are the signs and symptoms of swollen adenoids?

The signs and symptoms of adenoiditis include:

  • Bad breath
  • Trouble breathing, especially through the nose
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring and noisy breathing
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Chronic nasal drainage
  • Frequent ear infections and even temporary hearing loss  
  • Obstructive sleep apnea—i.e. stopping breath during sleep. This predisposes the child to heart problems, bedwetting, behavioral problems

How is the diagnosis of enlarged adenoids made?

The diagnosis of enlarged and infected adenoids is made on clinical examination. Your healthcare provider will examine the nasal passage, and if need be, order an x-ray. A tiny telescope is used to look at the adenoids. For enlarged adenoids, medication like steroids are used to reduce the swelling.  

What is adenoidectomy?

The surgical procedure to remove the adenoids is called adenoidectomy. It is a relatively small procedure, performed under general anesthesia by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon. Before the procedure, the child is examined and all medication is stopped (at least three days before). Immediately before the procedure, no eating and drinking is allowed for at least twelve hours.

Adenoid removal surgery lasts from 20 to 30 minutes, but may take longer in some cases. During the surgery, the adenoids are removed through the mouth, without any incision on the neck. Therefore, there are no scars of the surgery.

Following the procedure, the child is taken to the post-operative recovery area, where a parent is allowed stay with the child. In most cases, the child is discharged on the same day, but the healthcare provider may keep the child overnight for monitoring, if need be.

It is expected following the surgery to have: upset stomach, mild discomfort, throat pain, difficulty in swallowing and neck pain. Fever, lasting for a couple of days, is also common following the procedure, but no prescription medication is required. Over-the-counter pain and fever medication alone, may be given to deal with these symptoms.

There are no specific dietary restrictions following the procedure, but the child should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids. The child can return to daily activities after one to two days, but should avoid vigorous activity like running and swimming for about one week. During this week, the child should also avoid nose blowing and contact sports. Staying in a room with humidifier is helpful in soothing the nose.

What are the risks of adenoidectomy?  

Adenoidectomy is a relatively safe procedure. However, there are certain surgical risks, like:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding from the wound
  • Complications of anesthesia
What is the prognosis of adenoidectomy?

Following the procedure of adenoid removal, children are expected to make full recovery with lesser problems. However, temporary side effects of the surgery include stuffy nose, sore throat and earaches.

Doctor’s help should be sought if there is:

  • High grade fever
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Bleeding from the wound site after the procedure
  • Drainage from the nose lasting more than two weeks

More information about the side effects can be found at oladoc.com.

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