Adenoidectomy (Encyclopedia of Surgery)
An adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoidsmall lumps of tissue that lie in the back of the throat behind the nose.
The adenoids are removed if they block breathing through the nose and if they cause chronic earaches or deafness. The adenoids consist of lymphoid tissuehite blood cells from the immune system. They are located near the tonsils, two other lumps of similar lymphoid tissue. In childhood, adenoids and tonsils are believed to play a role in fighting infections by producing antibodies that attack bacteria entering the body through the mouth and nose. In adulthood however, it is unlikely that the adenoids are involved in maintaining health, and they normally shrink and disappear. Between the ages of two and six, the adenoids can become chronically infected, swelling up and becoming inflamed. This can cause breathing difficulties, especially during sleep. The swelling can also block the eustachian tubes that connect the back of the throat to the ears, leading to hearing problems until the blockage is relieved. The purpose of an adenoidectomy is thus to remove infected adenoids. Since they are often associated with infected tonsils, they are often removed as part of a combined operation that also removes the tonsils,...
(The entire section is 1608 words.)
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