The adenoids are a collection of lymphoid tissue found to the rear of the nasal passages. An adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure that completely removes the adenoids. The operation is predominantly performed on children who have infected adenoids. Infected adenoids are troublesome as they grow in size and can become repeatedly infected to the point that they interfere with breathing. If infected adenoids are left untreated, they have the potential to cause a slew of problems including sleep apnea, snoring and infections of both the ear and sinus.
Adenoidectomy surgery is typically conducted as an outpatient in a surgicenter or a hospital. The surgery does not require an overnight stay. An anesthesiologist will be on hand for the duration of the surgery to comfort and observe the patient. It is important to note that patients should not take aspirin within the ten days leading up to the surgery and anti-inflammatory medications should not be consumed within a week of the surgery. Food and drink should also not be consumed within 6 hours of the operation as food and liquid in the stomach can interfere with the anesthetics. Before the operation begins, the patient will be given a mask anesthetic of gas and an intravenous medication. There will also be an IV as well.
Once the anesthetic is applied, a surgeon will remove the adenoids through the patient’s mouth. This involves absolutely no external incisions. Surgeons use an electrical cauterizing unit to cauterize the foundation of the adenoids. An adenoidectomy typically takes about forty five minutes or less to complete.
Once surgery is over, the patient will be sent to a recovery room where he will be monitored by a nurse. Parents will be allowed into the room to comfort their child. Once he has come to his senses and feels stable (this usually takes at least a couple of hours), he’ll be able to go home. The patient should return to eating only light foods in the immediate aftermath of the operation. These foods should not only be light but they should also be cool in temperature and very soft in texture. Patients will be prescribed antibiotics after the adenoidectomy as well as a narcotic like tylenol with codeine.