- What is the adenoid?
- When do you need surgical removal of the adenoid (adenoidectomy)?
- How does the procedure work?
- What are the risks and benefits of the surgery?
- Am I a good candidate for adenoid surgery?
- How should I prepare for the surgery?
- What shall I do after adenoids removal?
- Why is regular check-up important after the operation?
The adenoid, also known as a pharyngeal or nasopharyngeal tonsil is a mass of lymphatic tissue behind the nasal cavity, hidden by the soft palate and uvula.
The adenoid is part of a lymphatic tissue ring (the so called Waldeyer ring), which can be found in the oral cavity and the pharynx. Being part of the immune system, this ring is the first immunological filtering station in providing protection against infections.
An enlarged adenoid usually causes problems in childhood. Normally the adenoid dissapears by the age of 16. In case the adenoid persists and is still present in adulthood, surgical removal and histological examination becomes highly important.
In case of any nasal infection (acute rhinitis, sinusitis, etc.) or allergy the adenoid tissue becomes swollen. With recurring infections the adenoid remains enlarged, and this blocks the nose.
You may experience the following symptoms in case of an enlarged adenoid:
- mouth breathing, snoring, restless sleeping, daylight fatigue
- eating problems
- constant nasal obstruction
- recurring running nose, sinus infection, coughing (bronchitis)
- impaired hearing, reccurent middle ear infectons, earache
If the adenoid becomes large enough to produce the above symptoms, removal is the only option that permanently resolves these complaints.
After this surgery your body will still be able to fight infections because sufficient amounts of lymphatic tissue can be found in the oral cavity and the pharynx (palatine tonsils, lingual tonsils, etc.).
Adenoid removal, also known as adenoidectomy, is performed under general anaesthesia. The surgery takes about 20-40 minutes.
The adenoid is taken out through the mouth with a special instrument called the adenotome.
As with any surgery, there are risks associated also with adenoid removal, including various infections and bleeding.
You will get a patient information sheet and informed consent form for detailed information about adenoidectomy, risks of the operation, and perioperative tasks. By all means, you will discuss with your doctor the possible risks of surgery before you make a treatment decision.
There are certain risks associated with general anaesthesia, for which we will provide a separate information sheet and an informed consent form. The tests that you will have before your surgery will ensure that these risks are reduced to minimum.
It is important to call your surgeon immediately in case of fever, permanent nasal bleeding, blood spitting, vomiting or serious headache.
Removal of the adenoid may reduce the frequency and severity of nasal and ear conditions. It may also prevent the development of various and serious middle ear disease and hearing impairment that could otherwise be resolved only by major ear surgery.
In addition, you can reduce your antibiotic intake related to infections due to adenoid enlargement.
Your ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon will advise surgery as necessary.
You will be asked to undergo some tests (nasal endoscopy, blood and allergy test, nose and paranasal sinus CT, ECG), and to see your anaesthesiologist and internist before your operation. This is to ensure that your overall health condition is good enough to safely allow an adenoidectomy under general anaesthesia.
All of our patients are asked to complete a detailed medical history form. This is required by our surgeon and physicians so that they can decide if you are suitable for surgery.
Prepare a list of all of your symptoms and other medical conditions, past illnesses and allergies, even if they seem unrelated to your condition. For this reason, you will receive a detailed form to complete, followed by a physical examination.
Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. Your ENT surgeon will provide you with all the information regarding preparation for the diagnostic tests.
List all your medications and drugs, including vitamins and supplements
Ask a family member or friend to accompany you, someone who can help you recall all the information to be provided during your consultation.
Before surgery you will get a patient information sheet and an informed consent form with the necessary pre- and postoperative information to read and sign.
You can expect to have moderate pain (sore throat) during the first postoperative days. This can be well controlled with oral pain killers. You may expect nasal stuffiness and discomfort for 3 to 10 days.
You should only take medications approved at our clinic, and check with your ENT surgeon about any post-operative care you will need to perform to recover properly.
It is normal if you feel slowed down and deconcentrated for about a day after the surgery due to general anaesthesia.
If there is no bleeding, you will be discharged on the first postoperative day. You will usually be advised to rest for around two weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will be able to give you more detailed information and advice.
For 2 weeks after surgery you will be advised to avoid intensive physical activities that may lead to bleeding of the operated area (nasal bleedig, blood spitting or -vomiting).
You need to be careful when blowing your nose. For 2 weeks you are advised to wipe your nose without blowing it.
The first control examination is due after a week to check how well you recover, if there is any sign of infection or bleeding. Depending on your recovery, a second control might as well be needed.