Adenoids, it as well as tonsils are lymphatic tissues to help the body fight against infection. Tonsils are located on either side of the back of the throat, while adenoids are located further and higher back, situated closer to your nasal passages. Adenoids, unlike tonsils, are not visible through the mouth.
Adenoids, just like tonsils, can grow enlarged when they're infected with bacteria. When bacteria infect the adenoids, the tonsils become larger and more visible. In some cases, adenoids may swell so much they block nasal passages. Once the infection is over, adenoids as well as tonsils often return to their normal size. However, adenoids may remain enlarged and interfere with breathing, especially in children who experience chronic or frequent infections.
Chronically enlarged adenoids can cause more than difficulty breathing. They may be the culprit of chronic ear infections and even hearing loss caused by fluid accumulation in the middle ear, or obstruction to the eustachian tubes found in the ear. Some children diagnosed with chronic adenoids or tonsil inflammation may also experience obstructive sleep apnea.
Children and adults dealing with chronic inflammation, irritation or infection of the adenoids and tonsils will benefit from having them removed. However, decision to remove is not based on the size of the tonsils or adenoids.
In many developed countries around the world, adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy used to be common and such procedures were often performed on children. Today, such operations are now performed only on those who will actually benefit from the surgery, as well as those diagnosed with complications, including obstructive sleep apnea.
Adenoidectomy may also be recommended if your doctor believes that cancer is the cause of chronic enlargement or if you've experienced more than seven infections in a year. Your doctor or surgeon will wait two to three weeks following the clearing of any infections before the operation.
Adenoidectomies are performed on an outpatient basis. The excision or removal of the adenoids is done through the mouth. An instrument is placed in the mouth to keep it open, and the surgeon uses a mirror to locate and view the adenoids in the nasal cavity. The surgeon then uses a variety of tools to remove the adenoids.
A curette, an instrument that has a sharp edge, is the most common use of such tools or method of adenoid removal. The surgeon may also use what is called an adenoid punch, which is a curved instrument placed over the adenoids. The adenoids are pulled up into a special chamber in teh adenoid punch, and a knife then removes the adenoids. The surgeon may also use Magill forceps, a curved, tweezers-like instrument, to grasp and remove adenoids and residual tissues following removal techniques using a curette or adenoid punch. The curette or adenoid punch instrument is rotated or slid in a front-to-back or side-to-side motion to remove the adenoids. Bleeding is controlled with a cot arising instrument.
Adenoid removal may also be achieved through a laser technology or Electrocautery techniques. In some cases, the surgeon may opt to remove the adenoids through the nasal cavity with a suction instrument. Laser technology and Electrocautery with suction through the nose are not particularly common procedures.
Following the procedure, the patient is given antibiotics and medications to help reduce pain and swelling. Area pain and swelling goes away in less than a week, but children undergoing adenoidectomy procedures should stay out of school and avoid contact with others as much as possible to reduce infection risk during the healing period.
Ear, nose and throat specialist or surgeon undergoes traditional medical school, internship, residency and hospital training and then specializes in ear, nose and throat surgical procedures. An experienced ENT surgeon treats a wide number of conditions and diseases.
An ENT surgeon may spend as many as 12 years in schooling and training which includes four years of medical school, one year of general surgery training followed by four years of specialized ENT surgery training and education.
For more information about Adenoidectomy and where you can find the best treatment option, do not hesitate to contact us!