The adenoid is a mass of lymphatic tissue the exists in the nasopharyx (the back of the nose). It can obstruct breathing, block drainage from the ears to the throat, and be a source of chronic and recurrent infection to the ears and sinuses.

Why an Adenoidectomy?

The adenoid is typically removed to relieve airway obstruction and/or to help with sinus and ear infections.

The Procedure:

An adenoidectomy is performed either as an outpatient or an inpatient procedure. It may be performed in conjunction with tonsillectomy. An adenoidectomy with or without tonsillectomy takes approximately 30 minutes to perform.

Pre-operative Instructions and Restrictions:

In the days preceding surgery, your child may take acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, and Panadol), prescribed antibiotics, or an over the counter cold medicine as long as it does not contain Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Please notify your doctor if there is a family history of bleeding tendencies of if the child tends to bruise easily.

The following should not be ingested within 14 days of your child's surgical date:

  • Aspirin (including Pepto-Bismol)
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • St. John's Wort
  • Omega-3 fatty acid

The following should not be ingested within 7 days of your child's surgical date:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications (Naproxin, Aleve, Celebrex, etc.)
  • Ibuprofen products (Children's Motrin, Children's Advil, etc.)

Postoperative Care Instructions:

  • Diet – Your child may return to a normal diet immediately after the procedure. During this time, it is important to keep your child well hydrated.
  • Activity – Your child's return to school will depend upon the speed of his or her recovery, but it is often about three days after the procedure. Any strenuous activity should be avoided during the first week of recovery. Children should avoid nose blowing during this time.
  • Pain – Mild throat discomfort and perhaps some neck stiffness can be expected. To alleviate discomfort, acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be administered. Please do not use aspirin or ibuprofen products, as they may cause bleeding.
  • Fever – Following surgery, your child may run a low grade fever. This can be treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Foul Breath – Your child may have foul-smelling breath. This should resolve within two weeks.
  • Speech Changes – Your child’s voice may sound different immediately after the surgery. This will slowly improve over the next several weeks. If your child drinks very quickly, fluid may be felt in the nose. This sensation usually goes away in a few weeks.
  • Cough – Coughing may occur for several weeks following surger. This is related to the tissue healing process and will resolve when the tissue fully heals.
  • Bleeding – Nasal discharge is common after surgery, but continuous nasal bleeding should not occur. Please contact your doctor’s office if bleeding occurs from the nose or mouth. If you are unable to reach your physician, contact the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Emergency Room at 617-573-3431.