Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
The adenoids are removed if they block breathing through the nose and if they cause chronic earaches or deafness. The adenoids consist of lymphoid tissueâ€”white blood cells from the immune system. They are located near the tonsils, two other lumps...
of similar lymphoid tissue. In childhood, adenoids and tonsils are believed to play a role in fighting infections by producing antibodies that attack bacteria entering the body through the mouth and nose. In adulthood however, it is unlikely that the adenoids are involved in maintaining health, and they normally shrink and disappear. Between the ages of two and six, the adenoids can become chronically infected, swelling up and becoming inflamed. This can cause breathing difficulties, especially during sleep. The swelling can also block the eustachian tubes that connect the back of the throat to the ears, leading to hearing problems until the blockage is relieved. The purpose of an adenoidectomy is thus to remove infected adenoids. Since they are often associated with infected tonsils, they are often removed as part of a combined operation that also removes the tonsils, called a T&A (tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy).
Using graphic animation, this video shows the step by step process for removing tonsils and adenoids, including these anatomical structures that are located in the throat.
Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoids. They may be removed for several reasons, including impaired breathing through the nose and chronic infections or earaches. The surgery is common. It is most often done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Post-operative pain is generally minimal and prevented with an abundance of icy or cold foods, though dairy foods such as ice cream should be avoided, as they coat the back of the throat, encouraging the body to produce phlegm, which can interfere with healing. The procedure can sometimes be combined with a tonsillectomy if needed. Recovery time can range from several hours to two or three days (though as age increases so does recovery time).
Adenoidectomy is often performed on children aged 1-6, as adenoids help the body's immune system. Adenoids become vestigial organs in adults.
ENT surgeons diagnose and treat conditions of the ears, nose, throat, head and neck, and undertake some cosmetic procedures.
-Dr David Luff
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