Adenoid removal surgery is also called an adenoidectomy, and it is a commonly performed surgery in kids. Adenoids are the glands located in the roof of the mouth, behind the place where the nose connects to the throat. The adenoids produce antibodies, or white blood cells, that help fight infections. They usually shrink after puberty and may disappear by adulthood. Surgeons often perform adenoid and tonsil (tonsillectomy) removal simultaneously. This is called an adenotonsillectomy. Chronic and recurrent throat and respiratory infections often cause inflammation and infection in both the glands. Inflammation of the adenoids is called adenoiditis.
Adenoidectomy is a commonly performed surgery with a low risk of complications. It can be safely done in children aged older than 3 years. Most side effects and complications of surgery usually resolve on their own or with treatment. Some possible side effects and risks of adenoidectomy include:
- Bleeding at the site of removal
- Difficulty and pain during swallowing problems
- Nose block after surgery due to inflammation and swelling
- Throat pain
- Ear pain
- Post-operative infection that causes fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bad breath
- Change in voice
- Reaction to anesthesia
Why are the adenoids removed?
Frequent throat and respiratory tract infections in childhood often cause the adenoids to enlarge. Such adenoids can cause obstruction of breathing in a child, especially at night. It can also block the Eustachian tube opening. Eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the nose (nasopharynx). Blocked Eustachian tubes may cause recurrent ear infections. Enlarged adenoids can also cause dentition problems and snoring in children.
What are the signs and symptoms of enlarged adenoids?
Swollen adenoids block the airways and can cause the following symptoms:
- Recurrent ear infections
- Throat pain
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Mouth breathing
- Adenoid facies, which is a result of long-term adenoid hypertrophy causing persistent sleep apnea (mouth breathing and snoring) during childhood. It may be associated with the development of certain facial features called the adenoid facies. The characteristic facial appearance consists of the following:
- Underdeveloped thin nostrils
- Short upper lip
- Prominent upper teeth
- Crowded teeth
- High-arched palate
- Underdeveloped maxilla (bone that forms the upper jaw)
- Adenoid facies is also typical of recurrent upper respiratory tract allergies, which present with
- Dennie’s lines: These are horizontal creases under the lower eyelids.
- Nasal pleat: This is a horizontal crease just above the tip of the nose produced by the recurrent upward wiping of nasal secretions with the hands.
- Allergic shiners: These are dark shadows under the eyes produced by chronic venous congestion.
How is adenoidectomy performed?
Adenoidectomy is performed under general anesthesia. The adenoids are usually removed through the mouth or using an endoscope (a camera with light source) through the nose. There are no incisions (surgical cuts) made externally; hence, there will not be any scars, and no stitches are necessary. The child may be discharged the same day or the following day after the surgery. Medications to reduce pain and swelling and prevent infection would be prescribed. Complete recovery after an adenoidectomy usually takes 1-2 weeks.
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Tonsillitis (Adenoiditis)Tonsillitis is a contagious infection with symptoms of bad breath, snoring, congestion, headache, hoarseness, laryngitis, and coughing up blood. Tonsillitis can be caused by acute infection of the tonsils, and several types of bacteria or viruses (for example, strep throat or mononucleosis). There are two types of tonsillitis, acute and chronic. Acute tonsillitis lasts from 1-2 weeks while chronic tonsillitis can last from months to years. Treatment of tonsillitis and adenoids include antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies to relieve pain and inflammation, for example, saltwater gargle, slippery elm throat lozenges, sipping warm beverages and eating frozen foods (ice cream, popsicles), serrapeptase, papain, and andrographism Some people with chronic tonsillitis may need surgery (tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy).
Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
Is Tonsillitis Contagious?Tonsillitis is a common infection, especially in kids. Tonsillitis is caused by viruses and bacteria like the flu and herpes simplex virus, and Streptococcus bacteria. These viruses and bacterium are spread person to person. Symptoms of tonsillitis are a yellow or white coating on the tonsils, throat pain, pain when swallowing, and hoarseness.
Tonsil StonesTonsil stones are small clusters of calcifications that form when food, dead cells, mucus, and bacteria get stuck in the nooks and crannies of the tonsils. Tonsil stones are hard, appear as white or yellowish formations on the tonsils, and usually smell bad due to bacteria. If symptoms occur, they may include persistent bad breath, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, ear pain, and cough.
Mouth Problems: TMJ, Canker Sores, Painful Gums and MoreSores, painful gums, bad breath -- what's going on in your mouth? Find out with our slideshow of the most common mouth problems. Learn about canker sores, cold sores, oral thrush, TMJ, and oral cancer. See what treatments for bad breath and other dental problems are available from your dentist.
Will Tonsillitis Go Away on Its Own?Tonsils are the two oval-shaped pads of tissue in the back of your throat. They help protect your body from infection. However, sometimes they get infected and inflamed (red and swollen) and this is called tonsillitis. Tonsillitis symptoms usually go away after three to four days.