This page will provide you with information about an adenoidectomy. For further details, please speak to your consultant.

What are adenoids?

Adenoids are a mass of tissue that stops germs from entering the mouth, in turn preventing illness (see Figure 1). They are located between the back of the nose and throat and when enlarged, they can negatively impact your ability to breathe, speak and sleep. They can also cause frequent blocked and/or runny noses.

What are the benefits of an adenoidectomy?

The advantages of undergoing this procedure include:

  • Relief from runny and/or blocked nose
  • Improved voice quality
  • Improved sleep
  • Helps ease glue ear infections by lowering the risk of fluid gathering in the middle ear

What are the alternatives to an adenoidectomy?

Enlarged adenoids can be treated using steroid nasal sprays. However, surgeons are still unsure of the long-term effect of these sprays. You may also need to use the spray for a prolonged period of time until you notice any improvement.

What will happen during the operation?

An adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure whereby a surgeon operates inside your mouth and removes the enlarged adenoids. Possible bleeding may occur following this process and so in most cases the surgeon will place a pack at the back of the nose to prevent this from happening. This operation lasts approximately 20 minutes and will be carried out under general anaesthetic.

Risks and complications

Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.


Most people are discharged from hospital the same day as their procedure, however some are required to stay overnight. You must take two weeks off of work or school in order to recover. If you come into contact with large groups of people this may rouse symptoms, resulting in infection.


Enlarged adenoids are common among children and sometimes the problem eases without the need for surgical intervention. However, if your sleep or speech is affected, then an adenoidectomy is the most suitable solution.



EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Adenoidectomy Consultants