Adenoidectomy and Recovery from Adenoid Surgery

An adenoidectomy is a routine surgery that is commonly performed in hospitals and outpatient surgical centers. At the Ear, Nose and Throat Center, our licensed Utah ear, nose and throat doctors regularly perform adenoidectomy. Our surgeons are the best in Utah for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.

We perform surgery only following a complete exam on a patient who has exhibited the classic symptoms of adenoiditis.

Read: Adenoids and the Symptoms of Adenoiditis

Most adenoid surgery is performed on young children. In an adenoidectomy, the patient is placed under general anesthesia, which means the child is unconscious during the procedure and will feel no pain. The adenoids (and tonsils in many cases) are removed through the mouth, which also means no incisions are made except within the throat. So there is no visible scarring.

Following surgery, the patient will recuperate for 2 to 5 hours at the surgery center where their condition is closely monitored. Once the child is alert, we typically send the patient home. Your doctor will provide clear instructions for at-home care that is customized to your child’s unique needs and condition.

Recovering from Adenoid Surgery
Any throat surgery is painful and sore throat, fever and ongoing pain is normal and possible. Your physician can prescribe pain medication to help your child cope. During the week following an adenoidectomy, your child may complain about or you may observe the following conditions:

Nausea: An upset stomach or nauseous feeling is not uncommon following the use of general anesthesias. Typically, this nausea wears off within a few hours. When a child is nauseous, minimize consumption of solid foods and offer clear liquids until the stomach settles. We also recommend that you avoid dairy products for the first 24 hours following surgery. After the 24-hour period has passed, ice cream, yogurt and pudding may be consumed and prove satisfying for the patient.

Dry Mouth: To avoid dehydration, encourage your child to drink lots of liquids during recuperation. You can start with clear liquids and eventually move to colored liquids based on your child’s tolerance. Avoid acidic liquids like orange, grapefruit or tomato juice since they will irritate the areas where the adenoids were removed.

Fever: Like nausea and throat pain, a low-grade fever may be present following surgery. You can treat fever with Tylenol, Advil or Motrin but contact your physician if a fever reaches 102 degrees or higher.

Sore throat: A tender, sore throat is common for 7 to 10 days following an adenoidectomy. Eating can be uncomfortable and you may want to offer your child soft foods such as Jell-O, soup, and popsicles.

Mouth breathing: One of the benefits of an adenoidectomy is that it reduces mouth breathing and snoring. However, mouth breathing and snoring may be common following surgery because the throat is swollen. We typically see a reduction in mouth breathing and snoring within 10 to 14 days following surgery. Please contact your physician if your child complains of trouble breathing.

Scabs in the mouth: White scabs in the throat are normal and expected where the adenoids were removed. Most scabs disintegrate in small pieces within 8 to 10 days following surgery. To ensure the scabbed areas have time to heal, emphasize to your child that they should not pick at the scabs or try to remove them. While the scabs may prove uncomfortable for a few days, they’re tolerable and essential in healing.

Resting After Adenoid Surgery
Rest, relaxation and plenty of fluids are the best way to recover from adenoid surgery. Your child’s health should be your guide but we encourage rest for a few days following surgery. Turn on their favorite movies. Read them books and they will recover quickly from adenoid surgery.

Send your child back to school once she can eat regular foods, is sleeping normally, and no longer requires pain medication. Until then, take it easy and allow the child’s body to heal itself.

If you are concerned about your child’s tonsils or adenoids, call the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-328-2522 to schedule an appointment with one of our our ENT doctors in Salt Lake City.

Read: Adenoids and the Symptoms of Adenoiditis

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