The adenoids are a collection of tissue similar to the tonsils located behind the nasal passage. As part of the immune system it is the first line of defence in young children.Patients with enlarged adenoids present with a change in voice (blocked nose=hyponasal voice), recurrent ear infections/glue ear, a blocked nose, sinusitis and nasal discharge and may contribute to mouth-breathing and snoring.


Removal of the adenoids does not affect the immune system. Adenoids are removed through the mouth, there will be no visible cuts. Suction-electrocautery is used to ablate the adenoids. Bleeding is minimal.

Side effects

  • sore throat, earache up to two weeks
  • blocked nose, clears within a week
  • voice change, settles over two to four weeks
  • bad breath, can be potent but improves after two to three weeks


Bleeding is very rare when electrocautery is used. It may require a return to theatre. Notify your GP or surgeon if you are concerned about the amount of bleeding.
Velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI, reflux of food and fluids into the nose) can occur but settles over 2 months in most patients.

Please check with your GP or surgeon if there is:

  • Bleeding
  • Temperature higher than 38 degrees C
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Poor fluid intake
  • Poor pain control
  • Any concerns you have regarding the surgery.


Commonly an antibiotic and paracetamol are prescribed after the adenoidectomy. The patient is advised to rest for a week but strict bed rest is not required.