What are adenoids? Adenoids are small glands in the throat, at the back of the nose.  They are there to fight germs.  Your body can still fight germs without your adenoids.  We only take them out if they are doing more harm than good. 

Why take them out? Sometimes children have adenoids so big that they have a blocked nose and have to breathe through their mouths.  They snore at night.  Some children even stop breathing for a few seconds while they are asleep.  The adenoids can also cause ear problems by blocking the tube that joins your nose to your ear. 

Does my child have to have his or her adenoids out? Your adenoids get smaller as you grow so you may find that nose and ear problems get better with time.  Surgery will make these problems get better more quickly but it has a small risk.  You should discuss with your surgeon whether to wait and see, or have surgery now. 

Other operations.  If we are taking adenoids out because of ear problems we may put in grommets at the same time. If your child has sore throats or stops breathing at night we may also take their tonsils out at the same time.  We will tell you what these operations involve if we are going to do them. 

How long will my child be in hospital?  Your child will come in on the morning of the operation.  We will let him or her go home the same day if he or she is eating and drinking and feels well enough.  Most children need about a week off nursery or school.  They should rest at home away from crowds and smoky places.  Stay away from people with coughs and colds. 

Your child’s throat may be a little sore.  Give painkillers as needed for the first few days.  Prepare normal food.  Eating food will help your child’s throat to heal.  Chewing gum will also help the pain. 

Your child may have sore ears.  This is normal.  It happens because your throat and ears have the same nerves.  It does not mean that your child has an ear infection.

Bleeding can be serious. If you see any bleeding from your child’s throat or nose you must see a doctor.  Either call your GP, call the ward, or go to your nearest hospital casualty department.