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Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoids. Adenoids are made of tissue located in the back of the nose near the throat. They are thought to be involved in developing immunity against infections in children.
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What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor will likely do the following:
- Physical exam of the tonsils, throat, and neck
- Blood test
- Review your medicines—You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
- Order x-rays —to assess the size of the adenoids
Do not eat or drink anything six hours prior to the procedure.
General anesthesia is used. It will block any pain and keep you asleep through the procedure.
Description of the Procedure
The adenoids will be surgically removed through the mouth. A scalpel or another type of tool will be used to remove the adenoid tissue. An electrical current can also be used. Sometimes, the adenoids are removed through the nose. Gauze packs will be placed at the site of the procedure to prevent bleeding.
Radiofrequency ablation is a type of procedure that uses heat to destroy tissue. It may be used to reduce the volume and size of adenoids. This method often has less bleeding. It also seems to cause less pain.
Immediately After Procedure
You will be monitored in a recovery room until the anesthesia wears off.
How Long Will It Take?
Less than 45 minutes
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Pain after the procedure is not uncommon. Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine.
Average Hospital Stay
It may be possible to leave on the same day as the procedure. Your doctor may choose to keep you overnight if there are complications.
Recovery will take 7-14 days. After the procedure, you may have:
- Light bleeding
- Nasal stuffiness or drainage
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear or throat pain
- Stiff or sore neck
- Nasal speech
To help relieve some discomfort and speed recovery:
- Eat light meals of soft foods for the first several days.
- Avoid hot liquids.
- Take prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection.
- Take pain medicine as needed.
- Avoid swimming and rough or vigorous exercise.
- Avoid forceful nose blowing.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions .
American Academy of Otolaryngology
American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology
Adenoid removal. US National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus website. Available at:
. Accessed September 2, 2005
Gigante J. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.
Pediatr Rev. 2005;26(6):199-203.
Paradise JL, Bernard BS, Colborn DK, Janosky JE. Assessment of adenoidal obstruction in children: clinical signs versus roentgenographic findings.
Shehata EM, Ragab SM, Behiry ABS, Erfan FA, Gamea AM. Telescopic-assisted radiofrequency adenoidectomy: a prospective randomized controlled trial.
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. US National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus website. Available at:
. Accessed September 2, 2005.
Tonsils and adenoids. American Academy of Otolaryngology website. Available at:
. Accessed September 2, 2005.