Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots
Oral health centre
This content is selected and controlled by BootsWebMD's editorial staff and is supported by Colgate.
Select An Article

Adenoids and adenoidectomy

Adenoids

The adenoids are small lumps of tissue that are located above the tonsils at the back of the throat. They are part of the immune system, but as they do not have an essential immune system function, they are only present in children and reach their maximum size at three to five years old. They then start to shrink and are barely visible by the teenage years and disappear completely in adulthood.

adenoids

The adenoids can become swollen or enlarged as a result of:

  • Infection (bacterial or viral)
  • Allergies
  • Problems at birth

Adenoidectomy

An adenoidectomy is an operation to remove adenoids that may be enlarged or causing problems such as breathing difficulties, snoring or sleep apnoea. It is often carried out alongside a tonsillectomy. It has very few risks and the body’s immune system is not affected adversely.

An adenoidectomy may be recommended after swelling has resulted from bacteria or a virus. Sometimes after the infection has cleared up, adenoids may stay enlarged. Sometimes allergies can make adenoids swell. Some children may be born with enlarged adenoids.

The adenoidectomy is carried out by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist and takes around half an hour under general anaesthetic, The child can usually leave hospital the same day.

There may be some temporary discomfort for a few weeks afterwards, including sore throat, earache or blocked nose.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on March 17, 2015

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman reading supplement bottle
Do we really need them?
man holding back
Myths & facts about back pain
hands grabbing knee
How to keep your joints healthy
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
cute baby
Simple tips to keep baby's skin healthy
79x79_hairloss_in_women.jpg
Do you know what causes hair loss?
woman exercising
Exercises for low back pain
sperm and egg
Facts to help you get pregnant
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning for a healthy home
rash on skin
Soothe skin and prevent flare-ups
mother and child
Could your baby be allergic to milk?
pregnant woman eating healthy salad
Nutrition needs before pregnancy