Adenoids (or pharyngeal tonsils, or nasopharyngeal tonsils) are a mass of lymphoid tissue situated at the very back of the nose, in the roof of the nasopharynx, where the nose blends into the mouth.
Normally, in children, they make a soft mound in the roof and posterior wall of the nasopharynx, just above and behind the uvula.
Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoids. They may be removed for several reasons, including impaired breathing through the nose and chronic infections or earaches. The surgery is common. It is most often done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Post-operative pain is generally minimal and prevented with an abundance of icy or cold foods. Spicy foods, such as jalepenos or curries, should be avoided. The procedure can sometimes be combined with a tonsillectomy if needed. Recovery time can range from several hours to two or three days (though as age increases so does recovery time).
Adenoidectomy is not often performed on children aged 1-6, as adenoids help the body’s immune system. Adenoids become vestigial organs in adults.