Adenoidectomy may be recommended when enlarged adenoids are blocking the airway, which may be suspected if the child:
- snores excessively
- has trouble breathing through the nose (nasal obstruction)
- has episodes of not breathing during sleep (sleep apnea)
Adenoidectomy may be recommended if the child has chronic ear infections that:
- interfere with child's education
- persist despite antibiotic treatment
- recur 5 or more times in a year
- recur 3 or more times a year during a two-year period
Adenoidectomy may be recommended if the child has chronic or repeated bouts of tonsillitis.
The adenoids normally shrink as the child reaches adolescence and adenoidectomy is rarely needed after reaching the teenage years.
Review Date 11/4/2018
Updated by: Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.