Voice, Swallowing & Throat Disorders

About Adenoidectomy

Adenoidectomy is surgery performed to remove the adenoids. 

The adenoids are aggregation of lymphatic tissue at the nasopharynx, the uppermost part of the throat (pharynx) at the back of the nose. They are part of a ring of lymphatic tissue in the throat, known as Waldeyer’s ring, which includes the lingual tonsils and the palatine tonsils (usually referred to as “the tonsil” because these are the only tonsils that can be seen through the mouth). 

In some patients, the adenoids become enlarged and may become chronically or repeatedly infected. Some of the following conditions may result:

  • Nasal obstruction and mouth breathing
  • Snoring & Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)
  • Middle ear fluid and infection
  • Chronic or recurrent sinusitis


The most common reasons for adenoidectomy are:

  • Enlarged adenoids causing nasal obstruction, snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)
  • Recurrent/chronic adenoiditis with middle ear infection or sinusitis
  • Together with tonsillectomy for recurrent/chronic tonsillitis

The procedure is performed in the operating theatre under general anaesthesia. There are no incisions on the face or neck as the operation is performed via the nose and/or mouth. The use of endoscopes allows for optimal precision. A variety of techniques can be used to remove the tonsils: electrocautery (most common), cold steel (surgical knife) or Coblation.