Adenoidectomy: Complete Adenoid Removal Information (Updated 2022)

What is an adenoid? This is a common question for people who are not familiar with the anatomy of the human throat. The adenoid is a small, yellowish mass of tissue found at the back of your nasal cavity, just above your soft palate. It is an immune organ that works to trap bacteria so you don’t get sick from them.

Adenoids can have different sizes and shapes. They can be enlarged, congested, or even underdeveloped if your child hasn’t grown them yet. It may also be subject to different infections. The Adenoidectomy procedure involves removing the Adenoids from behind your nose to prevent any further infection and relieve any pain caused by it.

What is Adenoidectomy?

An adenoidectomy is the removal of the adenoid gland, usually in children. It is commonly done as a precursor to tonsillectomy, when the adenoids are enlarged and infected, causing sleep disturbances and mouth breathing. Adenoidectomy simply means removing the adenoid, a small tissue located in the back of your nasal cavity and above your soft palate. Adenoiditis is the swelling of the adenoid, causing tonsillitis, and is often treated with antibiotics.

In rare cases, surgery, specifically Adenoidectomy, might also be required. Adenoid surgery is usually performed as part of a larger procedure called a tonsillectomy, which includes the removal of tonsils, adenoids, and other tissue from the back of the nose and throat. Adenoidectomy is performed to prevent recurrent tonsillitis and sinus infections, particularly in children.

Adenoidectomy Procedure

The procedure resembles tonsillectomy, with a few minor variations. After being administered a general anesthetic and positioned on an operating table, your doctor will cut through your mouth and then remove the tissue behind your nose, including the tonsils and adenoids. The incisions are then sutured and packed with gauze to avoid bleeding. You may be prescribed antibiotics to clear the infection post-surgery and painkillers to manage the pain.

The doctor may also recommend taking fluids and a soft diet to avoid any complications. The recovery time for an adenoidectomy varies, depending on the patient’s age and overall health. People who are healthy usually take two to three days to heal, but children and people with other health conditions may take a week or more to recover from the surgery.

Is Adenoidectomy Painful?

Although there is a chance of experiencing pain and discomfort, it largely depends on the severity of the infection. Generally, an infected adenoid can cause pain and itchiness in the ear. This is because adenoids are connected to the Eustachian tubes, which regulate the pressure in the middle ear. If your adenoid is infected, it swells and fills with pus, making it difficult to drain the infection.

This can cause pain and swelling that reaches into your ear, which can be very painful. A doctor will give you painkillers before surgery to minimize discomfort. After the surgery, you may experience mild to moderate pain and discomfort that can be relieved through over-the-counter painkillers. You should also avoid eating and drinking until your doctor clears you for it to avoid any complications.

After an Adenoid Surgery: Recovery Time

The recovery time for an adenoidectomy is usually two to three days. Your doctor will recommend taking over-the-counter pain medications and fluids to speed up recovery. You should avoid eating certain foods to prevent complications and infections. Here’s a list of foods you should avoid: 

  • Dairy products, particularly milk and ice cream 
  • Sugar-free sweets and gum 
  • Dry foods, such as crackers and chips 
  • Carbonated drinks, such as soda 
  • Coffee and tea 
  • Alcoholic drinks 
  • Salty foods, such as chips, fries, and pretzels 
  • Hot and spicy foods 
  • Other foods that can irritate your throat, such as peanut butter and nuts You should first consult with your doctor before eating any foods to avoid complications.

Conclusion: Understanding Adenoidectomy

An adenoidectomy is a surgery to remove the adenoids, small glands found in the back of the nose near the tonsils. Adenoids are responsible for making antibodies, which fight infections. Adenoids also trap bacteria and other germs that enter the nose. Adenoids can become swollen or enlarged due to infections or allergies. When adenoids are too large, they can block the Eustachian tubes, which connect the nose and ears.

Adenoids are usually removed at the same time as tonsil removal surgery. Adenoids can be congested due to infection, enlarged due to allergies, or underdeveloped if your child hasn’t grown them yet. Adenoids can also be subject to different infections, such as tonsillitis and sinus infections. An adenoidectomy is usually performed as part of a larger procedure called a tonsillectomy, which includes the removal of tonsils, adenoids, and other tissue from the back of the nose and throat.


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