Adenoidectomy is the surgical procedure in which the adenoids are removed. Adenoids are lymphoid tissue located in the back of the nose. They are often not understood by the lay public or by physicians who are not otolaryngologists because they are not observed during routine physical examinations because of their location. Although the tissue composition of adenoids is the same as that of the tonsils, the diseases associated with infected adenoids differ from the diseases associated with infected tonsils, based on their location. This causes additional confusion because the adenoids are often simultaneously grouped with the tonsils when reporting outcomes in scientific journals.

An adenoidectomy is often associated with other surgical procedures (eg, tonsillectomy, placement of tympanostomy tubes). In fact, throughout most of the 20th century, tonsillectomies were usually performed in conjunction with adenoidectomies

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What are the symptoms of Adenoiditis?

Symptoms of adenoiditis can vary depending on what is causing the infection, but may include:

  • sore throat
  • stuffy nose
  • swollen glands in the neck
  • ear pain and other ear problems

When the nose is stuffy, breathing through it can be a challenge. Other symptoms of adenoiditis related to nasal congestion include:

  • breathing through the mouth
  • speaking with a nasal sound, as if you are speaking with a pinched nose
  • difficulty sleeping
  • snoring or sleep apnea (a condition where you stop breathing for a short amount of time during sleep)
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What are risks and complications of adenoidectomy?

Your child's surgery will be performed safely and with care in order to obtain the best possible results. You have the right to be informed that the surgery may involve risks of unsuccessful results, complications, or injury from both known and unforeseen causes. Because individuals differ in their response to surgery, their anesthetic reactions, and their healing outcomes, ultimately there can be no guarantee made as to the results or potential complications.

The following complications have been reported in the medical literature. This list is not meant to be inclusive of every possible complication. They are listed here for your information only, not to frighten you, but to make you aware and more knowledgeable concerning this surgical procedure.

Failure to resolve the ear or sinus infections, or relieve nasal drainage.
Bleeding. In very rare situations, the need for blood products or a blood transfusion. You have the right, should you choose,
to have autologous (blood from yourself) or designated donor directed blood prepared in advance in case an emergency transfusion is necessary. You are encouraged to consult with your doctor if you are interested.
A permanent change in voice or nasal regurgitation (rare).
Need for further and more aggressive surgery such as sinus, nasal, or tonsil surgery.
Failure to improve the nasal airway or resolve to snore, sleep apnea, or mouth breathing.
Need for allergy evaluation, treatments, or environmental controls. Surgery is neither a cure nor a substitute for good allergy control or treatment.

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