Adenoidectomy Alleviates Obstruction of the Airway
Most of us have heard of tonsillectomies, and probably know many people who have had their tonsils removed as children. An adenoidectomy—the surgical removal of the adenoids—is sometimes performed along with a tonsillectomy. However, the tonsils and adenoids are looked at separately by today’s ENT specialists to determine the root of an existing condition and how best to treat it.
For an obstruction of the airway that is severe, for example, an adenoidectomy may be recommended. Problems such as sleep apnea in children are often associated with severe obstruction of the airway caused by enlarged adenoids. Other conditions such as chronic sinusitis and chronic ear infections may require the removal of the adenoids through surgery. As an emergency treatment, an adenoidectomy is also commonly used to treat cancer of the tonsil or to stop bleeding of the adenoids that cannot be stopped using other methods.
If the adenoids become enlarged, they can block the airway causing problems such as snoring, mouth breathing, or sleep apnea. Reduced ability to taste and smell are side effects of not being able to breathe through the nose. Enlarged adenoid glands can cause nasal secretions to accumulate, which will lead to sinus infections over time. With no way to properly drain the nasal passages, an adenoidectomy may be the only long-term effective treatment.
Fortunately, the procedure used to remove the adenoids is relatively noninvasive. The adenoids can be removed through the mouth through a series of small incisions. For about two weeks after surgery, it is important that your child is not exposed to people with respiratory infections. It is also important that your child stay away from too much physical activity until complete recovery is made. In most cases, the recovery period is very quick allowing your child to go back to life as usual.