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4 FAQs About Adenoid Surgery

an ENT doctor feeling his patient's throat for lumps

Adenoids are enlarged glands that are found above the roof of the mouth. Primarily adenoids protect the nose from germs and bacteria. However, sometimes they swell and grow larger, causing uncomfortable situations such as nasal congestion, breathing or ear problems. 

It is more common in children under 7 years old. Adults and older children with enlarged adenoids are not at risk of adenoidectomy; instead, the enlarged glands are considered as a vestigial organ – organs without a purpose.

When do you take your child for adenoid surgery?

You must take your child for observation once you notice chronic breathing or ear infections in your child. The ENT specialist will take a further look at the adenoids using an x-ray or by inserting a small camera in the child's nose. Once the doctor ascertains the adenoids' size, the child is scheduled for surgery to correct the problem.

How is adenoid surgery done?

Adenoid surgery is a minor procedure that involves the use of general anesthesia by an ENT surgeon. Once the child is sedated, the surgeon opens the child's mouth using a retractor and removes the adenoids using any of these three methods: curette, coblation or electrocautery.

The surgeon will then ensure that your child has stopped bleeding before ending the procedure. Once the surgery is done, you will have to wait for the anesthesia to wear off in the recuperating ward. The process is done within the hour, and your child can be discharged on the same day.

What are the side effects and recuperation procedures after surgery?

The recovery period is estimated to one to two weeks. Your child may experience these side effects: nausea, vomiting, general pain, fever or sore throat. You must ensure that you monitor and give the child the right support and medication after the surgery.

Ensure that your child gets the right foods and a lot of water to aid in the recovery process. Start with fluids and soft foods that will be gentle on the throat as you advance gradually. Closely monitor your child until full recovery.

In most cases, the child might be able to go home on the same day if there are no complications that will arise. For younger children, ensure that you follow the correct post-surgery instructions as they are more susceptible to complications.

What are the expectations and risks after surgery?

After adenoid surgery, most children have lesser breathing and ear problems. Unfortunately, sometimes the procedure has some complications like excessive bleeding or allergic reactions to anesthesia. It would be best if you informed the ENT doctor of any allergies beforehand to avoid allergic reactions.

Adenoid surgery is an essential procedure in children with recurrent breathing or ear problems. Consult your ENT doctor and discuss all viable options. Surgery, however, is a sure treatment plan.