Adenoidectomy is the removal of the adenoids. The adenoids are located in the back of the nose near the throat. They are thought to help with immunity against infections in children.
This surgery is done to remove enlarged adenoids that cause problems. They can block the nasal passage or the opening to the sinuses or middle ear. It may help treat repeated problems with:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
General anesthesia is used. You will be asleep.
The mouth will be opened and held in place with a retractor. The adenoids will be removed with a scalpel or other tool, such as an electrical current. Gauze packs will also be placed to absorb any blood.
About 45 minutes
Throat pain is common in the first 1 to 2 days. Medicine and home care can help.
Most people can go home the same day. If there are any problems, you may need to stay overnight.
The staff may give your child pain medicine.
It will take 7 to 14 days to fully heal. Physical activity will need to be limited during recovery. You may need to delay your return to normal activities.
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Adenoids and adenoidectomies. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/adenoids.html. Accessed December 2, 2020.
Adenoidectomy. Canadian Society of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entcanada.org/public2/patient8.asp. Accessed December 2, 2020.
Fashner J, Ericson K, et al. Treatment of the common cold in children and adults. Am Fam Physician. 2012 Jul 15;86(2):153-159.
Tonsils and adenoids. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: https://www.entnet.org//content/tonsils-and-adenoids. Accessed December 2, 2020.
Upper respiratory infection (URI) in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/upper-respiratory-infection-uri-in-children. Accessed December 2, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD Last Updated: 4/16/2021