Adenoidectomy (child)

Adenoidectomy (child) is an operation to remove small lumps of soft tissue at the back of your child’s nose, called adenoids. It is a short and safe procedure performed if your child’s adenoids are causing severe discomfort and interfering with their daily life.

What is an adenoidectomy

An adenoidectomy is a common surgical procedure to remove enlarged or swollen adenoids. The adenoids are part of your immune system and help fight bacterial and viral infection.

In young children, the adenoids tend to be largest. They usually shrink as a child gets older and are then less likely to cause problems. A child’s adenoids can become swollen or enlarged due to frequent infections or allergies. If swollen adenoids cause uncomfortable symptoms for your child, such as breathing problems or ear infections, they may need to be removed.

Adenoid removal is performed under a general anaesthetic by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon. The adenoid tissue is removed through the mouth to relieve pressure or reduce infections. This usually takes about 30 minutes.

At what age can adenoids be removed?

Adenoids are removed in children mostly between the ages of one to seven. In early childhood, the adenoids tend to be largest and more troublesome and so this is when adenoid removal mostly occurs. Adenoid enlargement happens as children become exposed to many new infections and colds at this age.

There is no upper age limit for adenoid removal. Older children and adults can have an adenoidectomy but adenoids tend to start shrinking around the age of seven and have usually almost completely gone by the teenage years.

How do I know if my child needs adenoids removed?

Your doctor will advise you if your child needs their adenoids removed. They will take your child’s medical history into account and their symptoms. There are a number of reasons why your child may need to have their adenoids removed, which include:

  • Difficulty breathing through their nose – this may cause your child to breathe through their mouth instead and can lead to cracked lips and a dry mouth.
  • Problems sleeping at night – due to enlarged adenoids. You child might start snoring or develop irregular breathing whilst sleeping, known as sleep apnoea. This can cause excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Frequent ear infections and/or fluid in the ears - this includes a middle ear infection called otitis media and glue ear where the middle ear canal fills up with fluid.
  • Recurrent or persistent swelling of the sinuses – your child may have a constant runny nose, facial pain and nasal-sounding speech.

What is the recovery process after an adenoidectomy

After an adenoidectomy, it takes about an hour to recover from the general anaesthetic. When your child comes round, they may feel groggy and sleepy. You and your child will be able to go home after routine checks, typically on the same day as the surgery but sometimes you may need to stay in hospital overnight.

Your child’s throat will probably be sore for a day or two. They are usually given painkillers while in the hospital to help ease this discomfort.

Most children recover quickly afterwards.

Your child will need two weeks off school or nursery to avoid catching an infection. Your surgeon will advise you when your child can return to their normal activities including sports.

What is the cost of an adenoidectomy (child)

You will receive a formal quotation price for your adenoidectomy after your consultation with one of our expert ENT surgeons and following any required tests. This formal quote for adenoid removal surgery will be valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Surgery to remove adenoids is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your procedure.

We offer a number of finance options to pay for your adenoid surgery, including: All-inclusive Total Care where a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price delivers direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance, pay as you go and, medical finance loans.

Adenoidectomy at Ramsay Health Care UK

At Ramsay Health Care UK, one of our highly experienced ENT surgeons can see your child without waiting. They will discuss your child’s medical history including any sleep problems or glue ear episodes, perform a physical exam that includes checking your child's ears, nose, and throat and offer any required tests such as an endoscope or X-ray.

If surgery is recommended, your child’s adenoid will be carefully and skilfully removed using the latest techniques so that they can recover and get back to their daily life quickly. Enlarged adenoids are a common problem in children and we frequently perform adenoidectomies.

All Ramsay hospitals operate strict protocols to minimise the risk of infection, including Covid-19 so you and your child can visit our hospitals safely.

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