The Side Effects of Adenoidectomy


An adenoidectomy is a type of surgery that removes the adenoids, which are tiny tissue lumps that are in the back part of the throat (behind the nasal passages). They are lymphoid tissue masses behind the nose that can become infected or increase in size, which can result in problems including obstruction of breathing, sleep apnea, excessive snoring, and ear and sinus infections. There are some possible risks and side effects that are occasionally associated with this type of surgery, which is commonly performed on children.


  • Though adverse side effects of adenoidectomies are rare, the most common one is bleeding. Though it is extremely uncommon, bleeding as a result of adenoidectomy can result in the need of a blood transfusion or receiving blood products. Individuals can receive either blood from a donor or blood from themselves (autologous) in order to combat this possible risk.

Voice Change

  • One extremely rare risk of having an adenoidectomy is having the voice permanently change. Nasal regurgitation might also happen.

Sinus and Ear Infections

  • Some people get adenoidectomies in order to relieve problems such as nasal drainage and sinus and ear infections. One possible negative side effect of an adenoidectomy is the inability to handle and resolve these infections. This could result in a more aggressive, stronger surgery being necessary (nasal, tonsil or sinus surgery, possibly).

Nasal Airways

  • An adenoidectomy also runs the risk of failing at handling health conditions such as sleep apnea, snoring and mouth breathing. In certain cases, adenoidectomies do not work to improve and repair the nasal airway.

Young Children

  • Bleeding, the most common negative side effect of adenoidectomies, is particularly dangerous when it comes to young children. This is due to the fact that, in many instances, children do not notice that the bleeding is happening in the first place. As a result, children are usually kept for close observation for a period of hours at the clinic or hospital post-surgery (to ensure that no bleeding is occurring).

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