Adenoids & Tonsil

Under normal condition, breathing takes place by nose

Mouth breathing or snoring should not be overlooked and proper evaluation is to be done.

Mouth breathing syndrome may cause abnormal positioning of teeth and facial deformity. It May progress to sleep disorder and poor school performance and in some cases leads to the adverse effect on heart and lungs. Mouth breathing due to adenoid is common in children but since the signs and symptoms of adenoids are so ubiquitous often the general physician or pediatrician may fail to think about adenoid.

What is Adenoids and Tonsils

What is Adenoids and Tonsils
Tonsils and Adenoids are a clump of lymphoid tissue, the tonsils are located on both sides of the back of the throat (Oropharynx) and adenoids are located higher in the passage that connects the back of the nose to the throat (Nasopharynx).

The tonsils are visible through the wide open mouth, but the adenoids are not directly visible. A small mirror or a nasal endoscope is used to see the adenoids.

They trap bacteria and viruses entering through the throat and nose and produce antibodies to help body fight infections. But they are not considered to be very important as the body has other means of preventing infection and fighting off bacteria and viruses.

Children are born with adenoids which are quite small and usually adenoids shrink after about 5 years of age, and practically disappear by the teenage years.

Some children (and adults) are prone to develop infections of the tonsils and adenoids. These infections can be caused by different kinds of bacteria other than streptococcus.
Symptoms of Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids
Diagnosis of Nasal Obstruction and Mouth Breathing
Investigations for Mouth Breathing
Why to Remove the Tonsils and Adenoids?
Tonsil and Adenoid Removal Surgery
Complications of Tonsil /Adenoid surgery

What to expect Post-Operatively


Normally tonsillectomy takes half an hour to 45 min on an average.

When a child wakes up he may be slow and clumsy for initial few hours.

He will be kept with head low and lying to one side post-operatively.

Child is usually discharged within 4-6 hours, child less than 2 years of age, child with obstructive sleep apnea, is admitted to hospital for 1 day
  • The child may have mild soreness of throat for 7-10days, mild earache for one week or blood mixed mucus for one week.
  • The child may have mild fever for few days and nausea or vomiting.


Pain reception varies from person to person, Adenoidectomy typically is much less painful than a tonsillectomy. Acetaminophen is usually given for pain relief.

Ice-packs around the neck reduce pain.


Ice cream is ideal first meal after surgery because it is soft and offers comfort for a sore throat
  • lots of cold water.
  • For first 24 hours child can have cold yogurt, jelly, and pudding.
  • For one week soft, bland diet (should not be very hot) like meshed potatoes, oatmeal, soups.
  • Avoid acidic, spicy and rough food.
  • Lot of chewing-gums helps.


Antibiotics are often prescribed for 5-7 days to improve healing, along with analgesics.

Bad breath

Oral-hygiene is very important so the child has to do gargles every time he eats something. Fluid intake should be encouraged.

Work and physical activity

A child can start too to school in 7 to 10 days.

Heavy physical work is to be avoided for 14 days after surgery.

When to call/visit the doctor?

If significant bleeding, high fever or signs of dehydration are present consult your surgeon

Tonsillectomy and Adenoid Removal Surgery-To Conclude

  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy operations should be done at least 3 weeks after an infection has cleared to avoid risk of complications
  • Removing adenoids can help reduce snoring but may not completely cure it because several other reasons may be responsible for snoring.
  • Adenoidectomy has tremendous benefits for child’s health and is essential to safeguard child’s breathing and hearing.
  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy do not appear to decrease the frequency or severity of colds or a cough.
  • Voice may sound different for a short while after the operation because of swelling in the area. However, this usually comes to normal within 1 or 2 weeks.
  • Removing the tonsils or adenoids does not cause any problems with the immune system.