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Adenoidectomy in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about an adenoidectomy?

An adenoidectomy is surgery to remove your child's adenoids. Adenoids are located at the back of your child's nasal passage. They may need to be removed if they are enlarged or if they cause infections often.

Adenoid and Tonsil Removal

How should I prepare my child for an adenoidectomy?

  • Your child's surgeon will tell you how to prepare. He or she may tell you not to let your child eat or drink anything after midnight before surgery.
  • Tell your child's surgeon about all the medicines your child currently takes. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any of your child's medicines for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to give your child on the day of surgery.
  • Tell your child's healthcare provider about all of your child's allergies. Tell him or her if your child has had an allergic reaction to anesthesia or any other medicines.

What will happen during an adenoidectomy?

  • Your child will have general anesthesia and be asleep during surgery.
  • Your child's healthcare provider will remove the adenoids through your child's mouth. He or she will not have incisions or stitches.

What should I expect after my child's surgery?

  • Your child may be able to go home the same day of his or her surgery. He or she may need to stay in the hospital if he or she has breathing problems or other medical conditions.
  • Your child may have a low-grade fever for 1 to 2 days.
  • Your child may snore or breathe through his or her mouth due to swelling in his or her throat. His or her breathing will return to normal after the swelling goes down.
  • Your child may have bad breath due to scabs that formed where his or her adenoids were removed. These thick, white scabs fall off in small pieces 5 to 10 days after surgery.
  • Do not let your child blow his or her nose for 1 week after surgery, or as directed. Heavy bleeding may happen if scabs fall off when your child blows his or her nose.

What are the risks of an adenoidectomy?

Your child may get an infection. Throat pain may cause your child to not eat or drink enough, and he or she may become dehydrated. Swelling in his or her throat may cause your child to have difficulty breathing.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.