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An adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the adenoids, which are small glands located at the back of the throat, near the tonsils. 


A pediatrician examining a young girl's mouth.

Adenoids are part of the lymphatic system and play a role in the immune system, helping to trap and fight off infectopms, particularly in children. However, in some cases, the adenoids can become enlarged or infected, leading to various health issues, and the removal of the adenoids may be necessary.


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Adenoidectomy can be an effective treatment for certain conditions, but it is not always necessary or appropriate for every individual.


Adenoidectomy may be recommended if your child has:

  • Enlarged adenoids that are blocking the airway and causing breathing problems

  • Frequent ear infections

  • Chronic sinusitis

  • Sleep apnea, learn more about sleep apnea here

  • Frequent throat infections

  • A combination of these problems

The removal of enlarged or infected adenoids can lead to improvements in a child's overall health and quality of life. It can alleviate breathing problems, reduce the frequency of infections, and improve sleep, especially in cases of sleep apnea.


Adenoidectomy is a relatively simple and safe procedure. It is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning that your child can go home the same day as the surgery.

During surgery, your child will be given general anesthesia to put them to sleep. The surgeon will then make a small incision in the back of the nose and remove the adenoids. The incision will then be closed with sutures.


Most children recover from adenoidectomy within a few days. However, it may take several weeks for the full benefits of surgery to be realized.

After surgery, your child may experience some bleeding from the nose. This is usually mild and stops on its own within a few days. Your child may also experience some pain and swelling in the throat. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

Your child will need to avoid strenuous activity and swimming for a few weeks after surgery. They will also need to eat a soft diet for a few days.

Risks & Complications

Adenoidectomy is generally considered safe, but like any surgical procedure, it carries some risks, including bleeding, infection, and reaction to anesthesia. In rare cases, there can be changes in speech or voice quality.


After the surgery, patients are typically scheduled for a follow-up visit with their surgeon to ensure proper healing and to address any concerns or complications.

It's important to note that the decision to perform an adenoidectomy is made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the specific medical history and condition of the patient. Parents should discuss the procedure thoroughly with their child's healthcare provider to weigh the potential benefits and risks.

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