Adenoids are lymph glands behind the nose. They help to combat infection although there are several other lymph glands in the head and neck region that perform a similar role. Taking them out (if need be) therefore does not in any way compromise immunity.

They can sometimes get too big in children causing a blocked nose and breathing disorders while asleep. A blocked nose in children can, however, be caused by a host of other things – inability to blow their noses properly or allergies. These need to be addressed on their own merit. Large adenoids have also been implicated in glue ear as repeated infections of the adenoids is believed to spread sideways behind the nose to affect the opening in to the middle ear. This causes a blockage of the tube at that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat

Enlarged adenoids may also cause snoring and sleep apnoea which after a careful assessment may be another reason to suggest removing them.

The operation to take out the adenoids is called an adenoidectomy and can be carried out in hospital under a general anaesthetic. Most children will go home on the day of surgery. There is a slight risk of bleeding with the operation (less than 2% in all adenoidectomies Mr Olarinde has performed) but this risk is outweighed by the benefits of the operation.


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