Adenoid surgery, also referred to as adenoidectomy, is the process of removal of adenoids, which are made up of lymphatic tissue, situated in the airway between the nose and the back of the throat.
Adenoids and tonsils are made up of lymphoid tissue, present in the gastrointestinal tract. These, with the help of tonsils, assist the body in fighting infections. They are lymph nodes composed of lymphocytes, which contribute to approximately 25% of white blood cells. Antibodies produced by adenoids, along with white blood cells destroy germs trapped by mucus, while breathing. During their functioning, they get exposed to the risk of an infection, resulting in swelling. This may create further complications, as discussed in the latter part of the article. Tonsillitis, also known as swollen tonsils, is caused due to bacterial or viral infection.
Reasons for the Surgery
Adenoids can be viewed with the help of a flexible endoscope or a special mirror. In case of severe conditions, sleep apnea tests have to be done. For a side view of the throat, X-ray test needs to be conducted. Once the tests are over, the physician may perform a surgery to treat the inflammation. Here are some of the reasons why this surgery is performed.
- Rhinosinusitis: When adenoids get extended or infected, it leads to sinus, which results in nasal secretion buildup. So, for people with acute sinus problems, adenoidectomy helps.
- Ear Infection: Sometimes, expansion or infection triggers ear pain. The infection affects the functioning of the eustachian tube. Doctors often advice surgery in children suffering from an ear infection. However, the size of the tube decreases steadily, resulting in contraction, before attaining puberty, making swollen adenoids in adults less common, as compared to children. Surgery in adults become inevitable, only in cases, where shrinking does not take place during childhood.
- Obstruction in the Posterior Part of the Nose: Sometimes, adenoids become so enlarged that it results in sleep apnea, snoring or breathing through the mouth. This enlargement can be linked to an ear infection.
- Other Symptoms: If a person shows symptoms, such as, dry mouth, persistent runny nose, cracked lips, and bad breath, doctors recommend a surgery. Operation is recommended to prevent complications resulting from an already existing enlargement. Antibiotics are advised in case of mild growth.
Sometimes, adenoidectomy can result in unforeseen complications or injuries.
- Nasal Regurgitation: Rarely, nasal regurgitation can develop. It makes a person speak in a hypernasal voice. If it gets severe, it can cause the foods to flow back through the nose.
- Bleeding: Very rarely, need for blood transfusion may arise. You can go for an autologous blood, if you wish to.
- Need for Further Surgery: Sometimes, it may result in the need for a more complicated nasal or sinus surgery.
- Anesthesia: Sometimes, it demonstrates risks associated with anesthesia, such as breaking of the teeth. There is slight possibility of an allergy to the medication as well.
- Sore Throat: A rarely seen complication in the surgery is a sore throat.
The charges are usually split into anesthesiologist’s fee, medication charges, hospitalization charges, surgeon’s fee, and other charges, such as, medical equipment or diagnostic charges. Additional charges have to be incurred, in case of complications. Usually the surgeon’s fee is around $1,000, anesthesiologist fees go around $500, and medications would cost approximately $200. Other charges depend on the location and various related matters.
Removal of adenoids in time, has got advantages, like, reduction in obstruction in breathing, and ultimately, improved sleep, and decrease in severity of nose and ear infections. The recovery time is also less, i. e., in the range of a few hours to 2-3 days, depending upon the complexity of the surgery. It’s always better to consult your doctor upon spotting the symptoms discussed above, and get the surgery done in time, if your doctor recommends it, and avoid further complications.