January 25, 2018


What is an adenoidectomy?

An adenoidectomy is the removal of the adenoids. The adenoids are small pads of tissue at the back of the nose above the throat.

My anaesthetic

This procedure will require an anaesthetic. See About your anaesthetic information sheet for information about anaesthetic and the risks involved. If you have any concerns, discuss these with your doctor.
If you have not been given an information sheet, please ask for one.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure. They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:
  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room.
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.
Specific risks:
  • Bleeding. This may happen either at time of surgery or in the first two weeks after surgery. Delayed bleeding may require re-admission to hospital and may require another operation to stop the bleeding. A blood transfusion may be necessary depending on the amount of blood lost.
  • Injury to the teeth, lips, gums or tongue.
  • Adenoids may grow back.
  • Infection. Persistent bad breath or delayed bleeding may indicate infection. This is usually treated with antibiotics. Delayed bleeding is treated as outlined above.
  • Permanent damage to the tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. This can cause pain, loss of hearing and dizziness.
  • Incompetence of the palate. Nasal speech and leakage of food or fluid through the nose may occasionally occur in the early post-operative period. This usually gets better but rarely it may not, and further surgery or speech therapy may be needed.

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