Paediatric Adenoids: Symptoms – Diagnosis – Treatment
What are adenoids, where are they located and what is their role?
Adenoids are lymphoid tissue in the nasopharynx region, which, like the tonsils, function to filter microbes and viruses, and usually shrink by the age of 10 years.
Adenoid hypertrophy: What problems can it cause?
Through frequent infections in infancy and early childhood, the adenoids sometimes become hypertrophic and obstruct the nasal airways, causing many problems, such as heavy breathing, apnoea (pauses in breathing), trouble sleeping, snoring, and speech disorders.
Furthermore, the orifices of two tubes, called the Eustachian tubes, which significantly regulate the operation of the ear, are located next to the adenoids. When the nasal adenoids are very large or frequently lead to inflammations, the ears are greatly affected. The child may experience ear pain (acute otitis media), secretions and a decrease in hearing (secretory otitis). Decreased hearing in this age leads to a delay in speech.
Method of diagnosis at the clinic.
Adenoids can now be tested in the clinic more quickly and far more reliably than by a simple x-ray, using a flexible endoscope.
Adenoids in children and treatment.
When the child presents the above symptoms, which are indications of large nasal adenoids, often, it is very important to be monitored not only by a paediatrician, but also by an otolaryngologist, who, as an expert, will set the indications for a timely and individualised surgical treatment to avoid chronic health problems.
Adenoids and surgery (conventional vs endoscopic)
Thanks to developments in technology, adenoids can now be removed by endoscopic surgery, using new techniques that ensure their complete removal, improve postoperative healing and entail less pain and less bleeding. Another advantage of endoscopic surgery is that other problems the child may face can be corrected during the same operation, such as tonsil removal and placement of eardrum drain tubes. And all this with much less pain than using the older techniques, and faster healing, which is very important for the child.
Description of the operation (Anaesthesia-Duration)
The operation is performed under general anaesthesia and lasts from half to one and a half hour, depending on whether other interventions, such as drain tube placement and tonsillectomy, are performed.
After surgery, the child can return home immediately, on the same day or the next morning if tonsillectomy has also been performed. It has no stitches and is not in much pain; for a few days, it will follow the postoperative instructions the doctor provides (antibiotics for preventive purposes, painkillers and a salt-free diet with soft foods, without spices). Parents should ensure that the child follows the postoperative instructions, to allow it to return to its daily activities very soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
How difficult is the surgery for children and adults?
Thanks to new methods using radio frequencies, the surgery is not as laborious and bloody as it used to be.
How can I prepare my child for surgery?
In simple words, you should explain that the purpose of the surgery is to allow it to run and play freely and have more fun, without giving technical details that do not concern the child.
Is there a more appropriate season for adenoidectomy?
No, adenoidectomy can be carried out at any time of year with the same results, provided that the patient follows the postoperative instructions given by the doctor.
Is the surgery expensive?
Because of the special materials and high-tech equipment used to conduct the surgery, this operation is not as economic as conventional adenoidectomy, but the cost is minimal compared to the benefits of the endoscopic method for the patient, which include complete removal, direct healing and the child’s return to its activities without even requiring hospitalisation.
Will there be pain?
No, on the contrary, the patient will feel better after the surgery, as the annoying symptoms it suffered before removal will have subsided. The improvement is so pronounced and immediate, parents will be able to enjoy a new relationship with their child as soon as they return home.