Adenoidectomy

Introduction

The adenoids are a type of lymph tissue present at the back of the nose. They act as part of the immune system. Adenoids can be involved in ear infections, sore throats and blocking the nose.

Indications

The main reasons for adenoidectomy include:

  • Nasal obstruction.
  • Sleep apnoea.
  • Recurrent ear infections (in conjunction with grommets).
  • Recurrent tonsillitis (in conjunction with tonsil removal).

Risks

Adenoidectomy carries the same general risks as all operations including:

  • Pain.
  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Scarring.
  • Failure to resolve symptoms.

Rare complications of Adenoidectomy include:

  • Velopharyngeal insufficiency and incompetence.
  • Damage to the soft palate.
  • Damage to the eustachian tube.

Treatment Alternatives

There may be treatment alternatives suitable to you or your child that you can discuss with Dr Morrissey. Recurrent infections may respond to antibiotics in some cases, while nasal sprays may assist in obstructive sleep apnoea in limited cases.

Preoperative Instructions

Adenoidectomy is performed under a general anaesthetic. You will need to fast prior to surgery and should follow the provided instructions. If you have any queries or concerns please contact your Anaesthetist, admitting hospital or Dr Morrissey.

Procedure

Under a general anaesthetic the adenoids are removed from behind the nose with a special instrument. Pressure or cautery is applied to control bleeding.

Postoperative Instructions

Return to normal activities

It takes 1-3 days for most children to fully recover. You will need to keep your child away from day-care, kindergarten and school during this period.

General activities can be resumed when your child feels up to it. Please avoid vigorous nasal blowing, active sports, rough play & heavy lifting for 2 weeks.

Pain relief

Children may experience some minor neck or throat discomfort following surgery.  Paracetamol (Panadol) or Ibuprofen (Nurofen) is usually all that is required. Please follow dosage instructions as advised by the manufacturer.

If pain relief requirements exceed this, please contact Dr Morrissey.

Antibiotics

In certain circumstances, children may be prescribed antibiotics following surgery. Please take as instructed if advised.

Diet

There are no restrictions on diet.

Fever

It is common to have a mild fever for the first 24 hours after the operation. Please call Dr Morrissey’s rooms or see your GP if there is a persistent fever greater than 38.5°C.

Bad Breath

This is expected following removal of the adenoids and is part of the normal healing process. The bad breath usually settles after around 3 weeks, if not sooner.

Bleeding

If there is fresh bleeding from the nose or mouth, please either contact Dr Morrissey or present to the nearest Emergency Department for assessment.

Follow Up Appointment

A follow up phone call is usually made around 4 weeks after surgery.  Where an appointment is needed you will be advised by Dr Morrissey. If at any stage, you wish to see Dr Morrissey his staff will be happy to arrange an appointment.

How to contact Dr Morrissey

For non-emergency issues please call (07) 4646 4275 for further instructions.

Dr Morrissey shares ‘on-call’ arrangements with other ENT surgeons and one is usually available to answer questions. After hours the "On Call" ENT Surgeon can be contacted via the Toowoomba Hospital on (07) 4616 6000.

Should your concerns not be addressed via a phone call, then please present to your nearest Emergency Department.

In the event of an Emergency call 000 or attend the nearest Emergency Department.

Related Information

Ear Infections
Blocked Nose
Tonsillitis