Enlarged adenoids should not get in the way of your child’s sleep.
Having enlarged adenoids is quite common among young children. However, it doesn’t mean they should have to tolerate it.
What are adenoids?
The adenoids are part of a group of lymphoid tissues (like the glands in the neck or the tonsils) that help to fight off infection from germs that are breathed in or swallowed.
How do adenoids become enlarged?
The adenoids enlarge naturally in children at around the age of 3 and usually shrink away again by the age of 7. The enlargement happens because children are exposed to a lot of new infections at this age and have many colds.
What are the benefits of surgery?
Your child should get relief from a blocked or runny nose, and may get a better quality of sleep. This may improve the quality of your child’s voice. An adenoidectomy can also help if your child has glue ear by reducing the risk of fluid collecting in the middle ear.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Your doctor may be able to give you steroid nasal sprays to improve your child’s symptoms of a blocked nose and reduce the size of the adenoids. However, these must be used for a long time and the long-term effects are not yet known. There are no other treatments for enlarged adenoids other than to leave them alone and wait for the problem to get better.
What does the procedure involve?
The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 20 minutes. Your surgeon will remove the adenoids through your child’s mouth. Afterwards, they will place a pack in the back of the nose until the bleeding stops.
What complications can happen?
Like all procedures, there are a few complications to bear in mind.
- Infection of the surgical site (wound)
- Adenoid tissue regrowing
How soon will I recover?
Fortunately, they should be able to go home the same day or the day after. Most importantly, your child will need two weeks off school to avoid catching an infection that could lead to bleeding. However, most children make a good quick recovery.
Enlarged adenoids are a common problem that usually do not need treatment. For those children who have a very blocked nose or disturbed sleep, an adenoidectomy should give them a better quality of life. To find out more call us on 0808 101 0337.
Author: Miss Ruth Capper MD FRCS (ORL-HNS)
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