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Adenoidectomy Surgical Procedure

Adenoidectomy surgery facts

  • Adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the adenoids.
  • Adenoids are a mass of lymphoid tissue located behind the nasal passages.
  • All surgical procedures have risks and potential complications.
  • Understanding what is involved before, during, and after adenoidectomy can help your child (and you) recover from the surgery as easily as possible.

Pediatric adenoidectomy

Your doctor has recommended an adenoidectomy for your child. The following information is provided to help you prepare for the surgery, and to help you understand more clearly the associated benefits, risks, and complications. You are encouraged to ask your doctor any questions that you feel necessary to help you better understand this procedure.

The adenoids are a mass of lymphoid tissue located behind the nasal passages. Adenoids may become infected and  remain enlarged or chronically infected, and subsequently lead to obstructed breathing, snoring/sleep apnea, sinus or ear infections, or other problems. Adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the adenoids.

These instructions are designed to help your child (and you) recover from the adenoidectomy as easily as possible. Taking care of your child can prevent complications. Your doctor will be happy to answer any questions that you have regarding this material. If your child is having ear tube surgery (myringotomies and tympanostomy tubes placed) in conjunction with his/her adenoidectomy, please visit the following article for further information: Myringotomy.

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.
  • Infection.
  • Failure to improve the nasal airway or resolve snoring, 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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/16/2016


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