Adenoid glands are located behind the nasal cavity and just above the roof of the mouth. According to medical jargon, adenoids is referred to as pharyngeal tonsil. It is a lymphatic tissue that starts growing from the 17th week in a fetus and continues to enlarge as the child grows. The main function of adenoids is to keep the body free from infection.
Why do Adenoids Get Enlarged?
When the germs and infection-causing bacteria and viruses are trapped in the adenoids, the lymphatic tissue starts to swell. Sometimes the swelling becomes severe and results in the following symptoms:
- Stuffy nose making it difficult to breathe
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Swollen glands around the neck
- Ear pain
An ear, nose and throat expert can quickly diagnose adenoid gland enlargement using an x-ray or a telescopic device. An antibiotic is generally prescribed to reduce the infection that will reduce the swelling. However, if the situation is recurrent, doctors suggest adenoid surgery wherein the adenoid gland is totally removed. This surgery is known as adenoidectomy.
Is Adenoidectomy Painful?
When the adenoid gland swelling is not controlled by medicines and if one is frequently falling ill because of the gland enlargement, doctors suggest the removal of adenoids. Most of the time if a child is infected with tonsillitis, both tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are performed together. The surgery involves the removal of the swollen tonsils and the swollen adenoid glands. These are simple procedures that do not involve staying in the hospital overnight.
The procedure is as follows:
- The patient is administered with general anesthesia.
- The surgeon uses a tool to keep the mouth of the patient wide open.
- The adenoid glands are cut and scooped using a curette.
- The bleeding is stopped using electricity to heat the tissues or radiofrequency energy-based techniques.
- If the bleeding is persisting, then an absorbent material is used to pack the surface.
- The patient is discharged once the consciousness is back.
- Mild discomfort will be felt and sore throat will be observed for a week post surgery.
It takes one week for the complete recovery from adenoidectomy. Once the surgery is over, the quality of living of the patient improves in the following ways:
- Breathing through the nose becomes regular.
- Reduction in the number of throat infections.
- Enlarged adenoid glands put pressure on the Eustachian tube in ears. This causes infection as drainage of the middle ear is blocked. With adenoidectomy, the tube will not be blocked and will function properly.
- Enlarged adenoid glands can affect the voice quality of the patient. The surgery removes the stuffy nose feeling and one can feel their voice is back with the same tone and improved pitch.
Adenoidectomy is a simple procedure. The main precaution that one has to follow is to drink warm fluids and eat less spicy food until the wound heals. The whole process of diagnosis surgery rehabilitation takes a maximum of 10 days.