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Adenoid Surgery

Adenoids are small glands in the back of the nose at the top end of the throat. Their function is, like that of tonsils, to act as a barrier to germs by producing antibodies. Adenoids are usually present in younger children. When they are very large they may block the nose, so that the child may need to breathe through its mouth and will frequently snore at night. Some children even stop breathing for a few seconds while they are asleep.

The adenoids may also be related to ear problems by impeding the proper function of the Eustachian tube, the tube which runs from the nose to the ear. For some children, particularly when the glue ear keeps coming back after grommets have fallen out, removing the adenoid at the same time as putting grommets in the ears seems to help stop the glue ear coming back.

If tonsils keep getting repeatedly infected, or if very large contributing to the upper airway obstruction with the adenoids, then they will be removed at the time of the adenoid removal.

The procedure of adenoid removal (adenenoidectomy) is done through the mouth and under a general anaesthetic. It is normally a day case and although most children suffer no pain afterwards, it is advised they refrain from school and coming into close contact with other children for about a week so as to avoid the child catching an infection.

Adenoid surgery is very safe, but very rarely the child may bleed after the operation which may need a second operation to stop it. It is equally rare that a tooth may be chipped or knocked especially if it is loose. Some parents may notice their child's voice to be slightly different after the operation as if they are talking through their nose. This usually settles within a few weeks.

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