Adenoidectomy

Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoid. Your doctor may recommend an adenoidectomy if you have frequent adenoid infections, if your adenoid is enlarged, or if you have recurrent ear or sinus infections.

Your pediatrician will refer you to a doctor who specializes in ear, nose and throat problems.

Here's what's involved in removing the adenoid:

  • Make sure the patient is not at an increased risk to have hypernasal speech, which sounds like talking through the nose.

  • Surgery is done using general anesthetic.

    1. One technique uses a tool called a curette to remove the tissue behind the nose. It is a dull metal rod with a loop on one end.

    2. Another way to remove the adenoid is cautery, using suction and heat. This way minimizes blood loss.

  • Surgery is usually outpatient, so your child can go home the same day.

  • Your surgeon and/or nurse will give you specific instructions for your child's activity, medication and diet after surgery. Family and friends mean well when they offer advice, but it is best to follow your doctor's instructions, since they know your child's specific health situation in much more detail.

  • For more general information, feel free to browse our adenoidectomy post-op instructions, but these are not a substitute for specific instructions from your medical team.

Adenoidectomy Post-Operative Instructions

What should be expected following an adenoidectomy?

  • Throat discomfort is usually minimal after this surgery, so Tylenol or other acetaminophen products usually provide sufficient pain relief. Your physician may also advise you to use Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) every 6 hours for 48 to 72 hours after surgery.

  • About five to seven days following surgery, neck pain and earaches are common; Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen products) usually help control the discomfort.

  • The child should rest at home for the first two days. Avoid vigorous physical activity for the first three to four days. Your child could bleed slightly if she or he becomes overactive too soon. After three to four days, the child's activity level can gradually be increased to normal.

  • Bad breath is very common following surgery, but it usually goes away in about three weeks. Saline nasal spray, chewing gum, and/or eating hard candy can all help to improve bad breath.

  • Your child should be able to tolerate a clear liquid diet immediately after surgery, and should progress to a normal diet as soon as she or he feels like eating. Occasionally a low grade fever (between 99-101 F) can develop after surgery, and may be worsened by a poor fluid intake.

  • We'll usually schedule a follow-up appointment with your child three to four weeks after surgery.

What are some reasons you should contact your doctor after surgery?

  • Call us if your child develops a fever greater than 102 F or a fever that does not respond to Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen). A low-grade fever (99 to 101F) is common after surgery.

  • Sometimes slight bleeding from the nose can occur if your child becomes overactive too soon. However, if this bleeding is severe (large amount, hard to stop), your doctor should be notified.

  • Earache and/or neck pain about five to seven days following surgery are common. But, if the neck pain is very severe, or does not get better in 48 to 72 hours after Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) use, please call your doctor.