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.
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 removal of the adenoids. This procedure of surgical removal is called adenoidectomy.
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
- 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: Instructions to Manage foreign body in Nose
Complications, risks and side effects of 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
- 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.
It is advised to seek immediate medical help if the patient bleeds from the mouth or nose following the procedure of adenoid removal.