Adenoids are small lumps of tissue at the back of the nose, above the roof of the mouth. You cannot see a person's adenoids by looking in their mouth.
Adenoids are part of the immune system, which helps fight infection and protects the body from bacteria and viruses.
Adenoids are bigger when you are a child. They then start to shrink, and usually disappear by the time you are an adult.
- Breathing problems
- Difficulty sleeping
- Recurrent or persistent problems with the ears, such as middle ear infections (otitis media) or glue ear (where the middle ear becomes filled with fluid)
- Recurrent or persistent sinusitis leading to symptoms such as a constantly runny nose, facial pain and nasal-sounding speech
The adenoids can be removed during an adenoidectomy.
The operation is usually done by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon and takes around 30 minutes.
If you have a high temperature and cough, the operation may have to be postponed for a few weeks to ensure that you’ve fully recovered and to reduce their risk of developing complications as a result of the surgery.
An adenoidectomy is done under general anaesthetic, so you will be asleep during the operation and will not feel any pain.
The adenoids are removed through the mouth. Heat is used to stop any bleeding.