Adenoids in our throat can sometimes swell and may get infected. Due to the enlargement of adenoids, one may find difficulty in breathing or sleeping. Due to this, a doctor may advise the removal of adenoids.
What are adenoids?
High up in the throat, on the roof of the mouth and behind the nose, are adenoid glands. They are an integral part of our body’s immune system. These glands are responsible for catching germs in the nose before they can cause any ailment. However, this can cause the glands to swell as they fight off viruses or bacteria.
This enlargement of adenoids can interfere with breathing and sleeping and may feel painful or sore. It can also block the tube, which connects the nose to ears and drains fluid from the middle ear. This tube is called the Eustachian tube. The blockage caused by this enlargement can build up the fluid in the ear, leading to consistent ear infections and temporary loss of hearing.
Symptoms of Enlarged Adenoids
- Frequent breathing through the mouth
- Stuffy or runny nose even without any illness
- Cracked lips and a dry mouth
- Noisy breathing
- Voice sounds nasal
- Ear infections are persistent or frequent
- Disturbed sleep or difficulty in breathing during sleep
How adenoids can be treated?
During early childhood, adenoids tend to be the largest and thereafter, they begin to shrink. In most cases, the adenoids reduce in size or disappear by adolescence. Therefore, adenoid removal mostly occurs in the case of young children. (Read more: What parents should know about adenoids in children)
In adults, however, adenoid removal may be necessary if there is a possibility of cancer or if there is a tumor present on the adenoids.
The enlargement of adenoids can be treated with medications or other treatments. But if the symptoms are persistent, then the doctor may recommend the removal of the adenoids. This procedure of surgical removal is called adenoidectomy.
10 Complications, Risks and Side effects of Adenoids removal
Adenoid removal is generally a safe procedure. Surgeons perform around 13,000 adenoid removals every year, and healthy children have almost no risk of complications. However, even the best adenoidectomy surgery may have side effects.
The following are the risks that an adenoidectomy surgery may include:
- Problems in swallowing food and water
- Onset of fever
- Vomiting and nausea
- Soreness of throat
- Bad breath
- Ear pain (Also Read: How to get relief from earache fast?)
- Bleeding during or after the surgery
- Dehydration from not consuming enough fluids
- Difficulty in breathing
- Infection at the surgical site
Special considerations must be made for children who have bleeding disorders or Down syndrome. Even children with a neuromuscular disorder or a history of cleft palate may be liable to speech abnormalities after the procedure.
How To Prepare for an Adenoidectomy?
Whenever a procedure involves making an incision in the mouth, there is a high risk of bleeding. Hence, doctors prescribe blood tests to check blood clotting properties.
There are some other precautions that need to be taken to reduce the risk of any complications or side-effects.
- Avoid taking medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen that can affect blood clotting capabilities. However, stop taking medicines only after proper consultation with the doctor.
- Do not drink or eat anything six hours before the surgery. In some cases, the doctor may recommend not eating anything after dinner one day before the surgery.
Procedure of Adenoidectomy
Before the procedure, it is essential that you do not consume food and drinks for several hours in order to prevent vomiting during the procedure.
The following steps are performed during the procedure:
- Doctor places the patient under general anesthesia
- The surgeon uses an instrument to see inside the throat and nasal cavity
- They gain access to the adenoids through the back of the throat, without any external incision
- Cauterization of the adenoids tissue is done
This procedure takes less than an hour and the patient may be required to stay in the hospital overnight for observation, to check whether they have any trouble breathing.
Also Read: Difference Between Adenoids and Tonsils
How To Recover After Adenoidectomy Surgery?
After the surgery, it is normal to stuffy nose as well as swelling. There’s nothing to worry as these only last for a couple of days after the surgery. Moreover, snoring may be louder than normal for several months. Also, the voice may change temporarily.
Some of the tips that can help recover fast as well as incur minimum side effects after adenoidectomy are-
- Putting nasal stops to dissolve any clots.
- Get off from work for at least 2-5 days. Some patients may require more time to recover completely.
- Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Take pain relievers to soothe out pain the throat.
- Avoid any vigorous exercises for at least 1 week after the surgery.
It is advised to seek immediate medical help if the patient bleeds from the mouth or nose following the procedure of adenoid removal.
When To Seek Medical Help?
During the recovery, if you experience any of the following symptoms call your doctor without any further delay.
- Running a fever higher than 101.5 F
- Sharp pain or headache that doesn’t go away
- Redness of the eyes or nose
- Swelling of the eyes or nose