What are adenoids? What happens if they are removed?

Adenoids are mounds of tissue at the back of the nose. They are the same tissue type as the tonsils in your mouth just in a different location. Like the tonsils, they can detect foreign substances that we sniff in and alert the immune system. They often grow in size around the age of two and can contribute to snoring, recurrent ear problems and even recurrent sinus infections. It is for this reason that we sometimes recommend removing them. Adenoids tend to involute (disappear) in the early teenage years and so are typically a problem of childhood.

Adenoidectomy explanation video

Post Operative Instructions

Most people take three to five days to recover from the surgery. Some may recover more quickly; others can take up to two weeks for a full recovery. The following guidelines are recommended:

The most important requirement for recovery is for you to drink plenty of fluids starting immediately after surgery with fluids such as water or apple juice.   Some patients experience nausea and vomiting after the surgery. This usually occurs within the first 24 hours and resolves on its own after the effects of anaesthesia wear off. Contact the office if there are signs of dehydration (urination less than 2-3 times a day)

Generally, there are no food restrictions after surgery, but sometimes a soft diet is better tolerated during the recovery period. The sooner you eat, the quicker you will recovery. You may be reluctant to eat because of throat pain; consequently, some weight loss may occur, this is usually gained back after a normal diet is resumed.

A low-grade fever may be observed the night of the surgery and for a day or two afterward. Contact the office if the fever is greater than 38.5º.

Activity may be increased slowly, with a return to school after normal eating and drinking resumes, pain medication is no longer required, and the child sleeps through the night.
– Travel on airplanes or far away from a medical facility is not recommended for two weeks following surgery
– Swimming is not advised for 2 weeks following surgery.

You may notice snoring and mouth breathing due to swelling in the throat. Breathing should return to normal when swelling subsides, 10-14 days after surgery.

When the adenoids have been removed there may be a foul smell from the nose for up to 2 weeks, please use some FESS nasal spray and use twice per day during this time.

With the exception of small specks of blood from the nose or in the saliva, bright red blood should not be seen. If such bleeding occurs, contact me immediately or present to the emergency room at your nearest hospital.

Nearly all patients undergoing an adenoidectomy will have mild pain in the throat after surgery. Some may complain of an earache (so called referred pain) and a few may have pain in the jaw and neck

Pain control
Panadol, ibuprofen, will be recommended for you on discharge. The pain medication will be in a liquid form but sometimes a rectal suppository will be necessary. Pain medication should be given as prescribed.

Follow up
On discharge you will be given a follow phone call roughly 4-6 weeks after surgery by our practice nurse