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Adenoids are part of a group of lymphoid tissues (like the glands in your neck or your tonsils) that help to fight of infection from germs that are breathed in or swallowed.

Adenoids enlarge naturally in children at around the age of three and usually shrink away again by the age of seven. Enlarged adenoids can result in a blocked or runny nose or glue ear. They may make your child snore. If your child also has swollen tonsils they may stop breathing while asleep.

What happens during an adenoidectomy?

This operation is performed under general anaesthetic and usually takes 15 - 30 minutes. 

Your surgeon will remove the adenoids through your child’s mouth.  They will place a pack in the back of the nose until the bleeding stops.

After the operation

Your child may experience a very sore throat. They will be given pain killers to ease this. Your child may feel sleepy or groggy and may spend several hours or overnight in the hospital. Once your surgeon is satisfied, your child can go home.

Going home after an adenoidectomy

Your child may continue to experience a sore throat, ear ache or stiff jaw in the first few days following surgery. Over the counter pain killers can ease these symptoms. 

Encourage your child to eat soft, easy to swallow foods such as soups, yogurt or ice cream. They should also drink plenty of fluids. 

To avoid exposure to infection or viruses your child should not return to school for at least one week. Avoid exposure to anyone with a cough or cold. 

Most children make a good recovery and return to normal activities following an adenoidectomy. As with any surgery there can be complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the surgical wounds

Specific complications of an adenoidectomy:

  • Adenoid tissue regrowing 
Parkside Hospital

53 Parkside, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5NX

020 8971 8000
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