How to Prepare for Adenoid Surgery

Child with ENT

One of the most common childhood illnesses surrounds the adenoids in the throat. A respected ear nose and throat doctor can manage repeated throat infections that enlarge the adenoids and cause issues with hearing, but when a child is developing more than four or five of these serious infections every year, adenoid surgery is often the answer.

What are adenoids?

At the back of the throat - right behind the soft palate - live two large fleshy lumps of tissue. Their main function is to get rid of germs but they can become easily infected themselves. It’s most common in younger children because the adenoids generally disappear in adolescence before adulthood. Undergoing adenoid surgery with the advice of an ear, nose and throat doctor is the easiest solution to recurrent infection.

So, how do we prepare for surgery?

If you’ve been told that your child needs to have surgery, you have a little preparation to do. Firstly, you have to prepare yourself. There’s nothing quite as worrying as their child requiring surgery for the first time. It’s a common surgery for most children, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this may be your child’s first ever time in the hospital. If you are about to have a child go through this surgery, here’s how you can prepare for it:

  • Avoid medication. Your ear, nose and throat doctor will be able to provide you with a list of medicines that your child should stop taking ten days before the surgical date. It’s not nice to give up medications that are helping the pain, though, so it may be worth asking your ear, nose and throat doctor for alternative therapies in this time to help.
  • No food or water for six hours prior to surgery. Ideally, adenoid surgery is booked first thing in the morning. This way, being nil by mouth for six hours involves your child being asleep for this period. This period of fasting includes water, to avoid complications during surgery. Keeping busy with board games and magazines can help your child to stay distracted from any hunger.
  • Talk to your child. Children are resilient. They believe in fairies in the tourniquets and glitter and magic in their IV. Easing their fears by talking them through the adenoid surgery is important, so speak to them on their level about what they are about to experience and why. Of course, if they are too young, this won’t be applicable, but at any age children can understand ice pops!
  • Talk to your doctor. If your child is suffering any sickness before the surgery, you need to inform them of this. This could push the surgery date back.

Adenoid surgeries performed on children have a very high success rate, so the goal is to maintain that. Be prepared and you can ensure a smooth procedure for your child.