Adenoid glands are glands located above the roof of the mouth, behind the nose. These glands are a part of the immune system and help protect the body from microorganisms like viruses and bacteria.
Adenoids start shrinking around age 5 to 7 and disappear completely by the teenage years. However, in some cases, they may become enlarged and hinder breathing. That makes the child sleep with their mouth open. In that cases, the healthcare providers might advise you to get them removed surgically. The signs of a blocked airway passage are:
- trouble breathing from the nose
- breathing with mouth open
- stopped breathing during sleeping
These symptoms can affect the child’s growth and mental development. Therefore is it better to get the adenoids removed on time. If your child has any of these signs and symptoms, you must take them to a healthcare provider. They will check and know if your child needs to get adenoids removed or not. To get an expert opinion, you can visit an ENT Specialist in Karachi.
What Is An Adenoidectomy?
Adenoids can get swollen or enlarged because of an infection or allergies. Their surgical removal is called adenoidectomy.
When a child’s adenoids become swollen, they can cause difficulties because of airway blockage. Swollen adenoids can cause breathing problems, ear infections, or other complications.
Enlarged adenoids may also cause temporary hearing loss because of fluid accumulation.
If your adenoids are infected and inflamed, you will need surgery to remove them. Removal of adenoids does not mean the child cannot fight infections.
When Is Adenoidectomy Performed?
Adenoidectomy is mostly performed among children between the ages of 1 and 7. By the time a child is 7, the adenoids begin to shrink themselves. After shrinking, they are considered the vestigial organs in adults (a remnant with no purpose). But if they become swollen or infected, they need to be removed surgically, usually done between the age of 1 to 7.
Why Is Adenoidectomy Performed?
Adenoidectomy is performed when symptoms of enlarged adenoids appear.
Following are the signs and symptoms of swollen adenoids.
- frequent ear infections
- sore throat
- difficulty swallowing
- difficulty breathing through the nose
- chronic mouth breathing
- obstructive sleep apnea
- repeated middle ear infections
Mostly, antibiotics are used as first-line treatment to treat the infections of the adenoids. Still, if the child is not responding to antibiotics, the doctor will surgically remove the adenoids.
How is an Adenoidectomy Performed?
An adenoidectomy is an easy, straightforward, relatively short process. It is usually done in the outpatient department by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon. To begin with the procedure, your child will be placed under general anesthesia.
During the procedure, the doctor will wide open your child’s mouth with the help of a retractor while the child is under anesthesia. The ENT surgeon will then remove the adenoids by making a small incision or by cauterizing, which involves sealing the area with a heated device.
After the procedure, the child will be taken to a recovery room until they recover from anesthesia. Mostly, children return home on the day of their surgery.
What Are The Risks of An Adenoidectomy?
The risks of an adenoidectomy are rare. They include:
- Unable to resolve breathing problems, ear infections, or nasal drainage
- Excessive bleeding (that happens very rare)
- Permanent changes in vocal quality
- Risks from the use of anesthesia
The Bottom Line
Usually, after an adenoidectomy, a child fully recovers and has very little to no breathing and ear problems. Your child may have a few problems like a sore throat, earaches, bad breath, or stuffy-feeling nose, but these are the phases of recovery, and all these complications subside after some time.
If your child has difficulty breathing especially while sleeping, you must consult a doctor about it, as it can affect your growth. To get an expert opinion, you can visit an ENT Specialist in Rawalpindi.