The adenoids are a type of lymph tissue present at the back of the nose. They act as part of the immune system. Adenoids can be involved in ear infections, sore throats and blocking the nose.


The main reasons for adenoidectomy include:

  • Nasal obstruction.
  • Sleep apnoea.
  • Recurrent ear infections (in conjunction with grommets).
  • Recurrent tonsillitis (in conjunction with tonsil removal).


Adenoidectomy carries the same general risks as all operations including:

  • Pain.
  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Scarring.
  • Failure to resolve symptoms.

Rare complications of Adenoidectomy include:

  • Velopharyngeal insufficiency and incompetence.
  • Damage to the soft palate.
  • Damage to the eustachian tube.

Treatment Alternatives

There may be treatment alternatives suitable to you or your child that you can discuss with Dr Morrissey. Recurrent infections may respond to antibiotics in some cases, while nasal sprays may assist in obstructive sleep apnoea in limited cases.

Preoperative Instructions

Adenoidectomy is performed under a general anaesthetic. You will need to fast prior to surgery and should follow the provided instructions. If you have any queries or concerns please contact your Anaesthetist, admitting hospital or Dr Morrissey.


Under a general anaesthetic the adenoids are removed from behind the nose with a special instrument. Pressure or cautery is applied to control bleeding.

Postoperative Instructions

Return to normal activities

It takes 1-3 days for most children to fully recover. You will need to keep your child away from day-care, kindergarten and school during this period.

General activities can be resumed when your child feels up to it. Please avoid vigorous nasal blowing, active sports, rough play & heavy lifting for 2 weeks.

Family HQ

Keeping track of medications, temperature and other aspects of care can be difficult following surgery. Please consider using Family HQ and the associated App to make the process a little easier. (

Pain relief

Children may experience some minor neck or throat discomfort following surgery.  Paracetamol (Panadol) or Ibuprofen (Nurofen) is usually all that is required. Please follow dosage instructions as advised by the manufacturer.

If pain relief requirements exceed this, please contact your Doctor.


In certain circumstances, children may be prescribed antibiotics following surgery. Please take as instructed if advised.


There are no restrictions on diet.


It is common to have a mild fever for the first 24 hours after the operation. Please call our Practice or see your GP if there is a persistent fever greater than 38.5°C.

Bad Breath

This is expected following removal of the adenoids and is normal. The bad breath usually settles after around 3 weeks, if not sooner.


If there is fresh bleeding from the nose or mouth, please either contact our practice or present to the nearest Emergency Department for assessment.

Follow Up Appointment

A follow up phone call is usually made around 4 weeks after surgery.  Where an appointment is needed you will be advised by your Surgeon. If at any stage, you wish to see your Surgeon, our staff will be happy to arrange an appointment.

How to contact your Surgeon

For non-emergency issues please call (07) 4646 4275 for further instructions.

ENT Surgeons in Toowoomba share ‘on-call’ and one is usually available to answer questions. After hours the "On Call" ENT Surgeon can be contacted via the Toowoomba Hospital on (07) 4616 6000.

Should your concerns not be addressed via a phone call, then please present to your nearest Emergency Department.

In the event of an Emergency call 000 or attend the nearest Emergency Department.

Related Information

Ear Infections
Blocked Nose