Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Doctor examining a patient's mouth


Like the tonsils, adenoids form part of the body’s immune system—but one that can end up being more problematic than not for some people. Massed at the back of the nasal cavity, this lump of lymphatic tissue is supposed to help block bacteria and viruses from traveling further into the system after they enter the nose. Adenoids are present in young children, particularly under the age of 5. As a child grows towards adolescence, however, the adenoids shrink down.

Do I Need to Have My Adenoids Removed?

Man sleeping

Adenoids can become infected and enlarged, making it hard to breathe and speak. Frequent colds, sinus infections and ear infections can make removing the adenoids a medical necessity for some people, particularly when they interfere with breathing. Here are some symptoms you should definitely discuss with your ENT:

  • Breathing and speaking problems
  • Sleep apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep, sometimes characterized by snoring)
  • Recurring ear and sinus infections

Breathing difficulties can be scary and dangerous, so always contact us about these right away. For young children, hearing and speech development can also suffer if their adenoids are enlarged. In these cases, an adenoidectomy may be the best course of action.

Adenoids and tonsils can often be removed during the same operation if both are a concern. We’ll describe the process and give you pre-op instructions to follow before the surgery, as well as detailed recovery instructions.

What Are the Side Effects of an Adenoidectomy?

Adenoid surgery is generally safe, but side effects may include:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Pain in the area, including the ears
  • Foul breath
  • Bleeding. Any bleeding after surgery should be treated as an emergency and requires immediate attention.

How Long Will it Take to Recover from an Adenoidectomy?

The surgery itself takes about a half-hour, and we often monitor patients until the anesthesia wears off. You’ll likely need to take a week to 10 days off of your regular activities (including work and school), and at least 3 weeks before you start any vigorous physical activities again. Some side effects, like a stuffy nose, may take a few months to go away.

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