Side Effects of Adenoidectomy

Adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the adenoids, small glands located at the back of the throat. This type of surgery is often performed in conjunction with the removal of the tonsils, a procedure called a tonsillectomy. Adenoid removal is most frequently performed on children to help alleviate symptoms associated with breathing difficulties or persistent ear infections. Before a child undergoes this type of surgery, a parent or caregiver should discuss the potential side effects of adenoidectomy with a physician.

Surgeons operating on a patient (Image: kzenon/iStock/Getty Images)

Sore Throat

Immediately after adenoidectomy, patients may experience sensations of pain within the throat. Sore throat discomfort can contribute to difficulty swallowing, the Better Health Channel warns, and may make eating or drinking unpleasant. Such side effects are temporary and progressively subside as a patient heals from surgery.

Nausea and Vomiting

Certain patients may experience nausea or vomiting shortly after awakening from surgery. These side effects may contribute to a temporary decrease in appetite and typically subside within a few days of surgery. Patients who experience persistent or severe vomiting after undergoing adenoidectomy should be evaluated by a medical professional.


Bleeding side effects occur infrequently after adenoidectomy, but may occur up to 10 days following treatment, according to The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. Vomiting blood or swallowing frequently may be signs of abnormal bleeding in affected patients. These side effects can be serious and patients should be taken to a doctor as soon as possible.

Bad Breath

A mild infection across the surgical incision site may cause bad breath in patients following adenoidectomy, Texas Pediatric Surgical Associates reports. This side effect of adenoidectomy may occur even if patients maintain healthy oral hygiene by brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. Odorous or foul breath may persist for up to seven to 10 days after surgery before resolving.

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