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Adenoid removal

Adenoidectomy; Removal of adenoid glands

Adenoid removal is surgery to take out the adenoid glands. The adenoid glands sit behind your nose above the roof of your mouth in the nasopharynx. Air passes over these glands when you take a breath.

The adenoids are often taken out at the same time as the tonsils (tonsillectomy).

Adenoid removal is also called adenoidectomy. The procedure is most often done in children.

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Adenoids

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Adenoid removal - Series

Description

Your child will be given general anesthesia before surgery. This means your child will be asleep and unable to feel pain.

During surgery:

Your child will stay in the recovery room after surgery. You will be allowed to take your child home when your child is awake and can breathe easily, cough, and swallow. In most cases, this will be a few hours after surgery.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

A health care provider may recommend this procedure if:

Adenoidectomy may also be recommended if your child has tonsillitis that keeps coming back.

The adenoids normally shrink as children grow older. Adults rarely need to have them removed.

Risks

Risks of any anesthesia are:

Risks of any surgery are:

Before the Procedure

Your provider will tell you how to prepare your child for this procedure.

A week before the surgery, do not give your child any medicine that thins the blood unless your doctor says to do so. Such medicines include aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

The night before the surgery, your child should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. This includes water.

You will be told what medicines your child should take on the day of surgery. Have your child take the medicine with a sip of water.

After the Procedure

Your child will go home on the same day as surgery. Complete recovery takes about 1 to 2 weeks.

Follow instructions on how to care for your child at home.

Outlook (Prognosis)

After this procedure, most children:

In rare cases, adenoid tissue may grow back. This does not cause problems most of the time. However, it can be removed again if necessary.

Related Information

Tonsillectomy
Enlarged adenoids
Stuffy or runny nose – adult
Obstructive sleep apnea - adults
Ear infection - chronic
Chronic
Tonsillitis
Tonsil and adenoid removal - discharge
Tonsil removal - what to ask your doctor

References

Casselbrandt ML, Mandel EM. Acute otitis media and otitis media with effusion. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 195.

Wetmore RF. Tonsils and adenoids. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 383.

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Review Date: 11/4/2018  

Reviewed By: Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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