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  • Adenoids are a mass of lymphoid tissue located at the back of the nasal passages, above the roof of the mouth and behind the nose. They are part of the body's immune system and help to filter out bacteria and viruses before they enter the body. 
  • In some cases, adenoids can become enlarged, which can cause difficulty breathing, recurrent infections, and other problems. In such cases, adenoids may be removed surgically.  


Adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the adenoids, small masses of tissue located in the upper throat behind the nose. The following are common indications for adenoidectomy:  

  • Recurrent or persistent infections: Chronic or recurrent infections of the upper respiratory tract, such as ear infections or sinusitis, can be a sign of enlarged adenoids.  
  • Obstructive sleep apnea: Adenoids can block the airway, causing snoring and sleep apnea.  
  • Nasal obstruction: Enlarged adenoids can cause nasal congestion and difficulty breathing through the nose.  
  • Chronic nasal drainage: Persistent nasal discharge can indicate the presence of infected or enlarged adenoids.  
  • Speech difficulties: Children with large adenoids may have difficulty speaking, especially with certain sounds.  
  • Recurrent tonsillitis: Adenoids and tonsils are related structures and the presence of enlarged adenoids can increase the risk of recurrent tonsillitis.  
  • Adenoidectomy is typically performed in children but can also be performed in adults in some cases. The decision to perform adenoidectomy should be made after a thorough evaluation of the patient's symptoms and medical history, as well as consideration of alternative treatments.  


  • Recovery after adenoid surgery typically takes about 1-2 weeks.   
  • Pain and discomfort is minimal and can be managed with pain medication.   
  • recommended to eat soft foods.   
  • Rest and plenty of fluids are important for a quick recovery.   
  • It's important to follow post-operative instructions given by the surgeon.  


  • What are adenoids? 

Adenoid tissue, which is located in the back of the nose, is similar to tonsil tissue. The adenoids are part of the immune system, but contrary to common belief, they do not serve as a “filter” for disease. Although the exact function of the adenoid is unknown, it is thought to be important only in very young children while their immune systems are still developing. Studies have shown consistently that children who have had their adenoids removed experience no ill effects. 

  • When is adenoidectomy (adenoid removal) recommended? 

Like the tonsils, the adenoids can become chronically infected and be a cause of recurrent ear and sinus infections. Adenoid tissue can also become enlarged, resulting in nasal obstruction. Adenoidectomy is typically recommended for three conditions: recurrent ear infections, recurrent sinus infections and nasal obstruction. The goal of the adenoidectomy is to make your child healthier. 

Overall, adenoidectomy is a very safe procedure with few, if any,problems. The most common issue following adenoidectomy is discomfort. Children usually experience mild ear 

pain, neck pain or headache as opposed to sore throat. Typically this pain will last for a couple of days and is relieved with Motrin or Advil, generic ibuprofen or Tylenol (acetaminophen). Occasionally, narcotic pain medication may be prescribed for the discomfort. 

  • What causes enlarged adenoids? 

Adenoids are present at birth. They grow until a child is between the ages of 3 and 5. Normally, they begin to shrink after around age 7. They shrink considerably in adulthood. 

They’re located in the passage that connects the back of the nasal cavity to the throat. They produce antibodies to help your body fight off infections. During the early years, adenoids help protect infants from infection by trapping bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the nose. 

Adenoids that become infected usually become enlarged, but return to their normal size when the infection subsides. However, in some instances, the adenoids remain enlarged even after the infection is gone. 

Enlarged adenoids can also be caused by allergies. Some children have enlarged adenoids from birth. 

  • What is the long-term outlook for enlarged adenoids? 

It’s common for children to have enlarged adenoids. Be sure to have your child examined as soon as possible if you notice that they are experiencing any of the symptoms of enlarged adenoids. Enlarged adenoids are a very treatable condition, and some cases can be treated with a simple antibiotic. 

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