What are adenoids?
Adenoids are small glands in the throat, at the back of the nose. In children, they help fight infections, but after the age of three, they are no longer needed.
Why take the adenoids out?
This is only done if they are causing problems in children. Symptoms of such problems include:
Enlarged adenoids that cause a blocked nose and difficulty in breathing
Snoring in children
Breathing difficulties during sleep
Frequent ear infections
What are the alternatives to having the adenoids removed?
The adenoids get smaller as you grow older, so nose and ear problems often get better with time. For some children, a steroid nasal spray may help reduce congestion in the nose and adenoids and could be a useful option before considering surgery. Antibiotics are not helpful and produce only temporary relief from the symptoms.
If adenoids are removed because of ear problems, grommets may be put in at the same time to prevent infections in the ear. If the child suffers from sore throat or stop breathing at night, the tonsils may also be removed at the same time.
The adenoids are removed through the mouth by curetting the gland under general anesthesia. The modern method is to remove the adenoids using a microdebrider (Power assisted adenoidedectomy)
The most serious risk associated with adenoidectomy is bleeding. This is, however, very uncommon. After surgery, the child may experience a change in voice, blocked nose, sore ears or sore throat. This is common, and should clear up within a few weeks. Painkillers can be given, as prescribed but avoid aspirin as it could lead to bleeding.