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What is an adenoidectomy?

It is an operation in which the adenoids are removed. Adenoids are lymphatic tissue located at the back of the nose. Large adenoids can block the nasal airway causing mouth breathing, snoring and ear infections.

How long will it take?

The operation takes about 30 minutes to an hour. This includes the anaesthetic, the operation and the time spent in the recovery room.

Usually it is a four to six hour stay in hospital following the procedure. This is to monitor your child for any signs of bleeding. An intravenous bung will be left in until your child goes home.

Children under the age of three and those with certain medical conditions may need to stay overnight.

When can my child eat and drink again?

If your child is awake on return to the ward, they can have clear fluids immediately. A light diet will be offered when fully awake.

Care at home

Pain relief

  • Have some paracetamol at home. It can be given as per the instructions on the product packaging for the first three to five days after the operation to relieve discomfort.
  • Give other pain relief medicine if advised.
  • Some surgeons advise not to give aspirin or nurofen (ibuprofen) two weeks before or after the operation.

Diet and fluids

Encourage food and drinks as normal.


Vomiting may occur post operatively and can contain old blood. If this persists or contains bright red blood please contact the hospital.


If bleeding occurs from the nose or mouth, please take your child to the closest hospital emergency department that treats children, immediately.

Please note: Mater Children's Private Brisbane does not have an Emergency Department.

Points to remember

  • If there is any bleeding at home, it is very important that you take your child to the closest hospital emergency department that treats children, immediately.
  • Take your child to your GP or take your child to the closest hospital emergency department that treats children if there is excessive vomiting, pain or persistent high temperatures.
  • Child may return to school after five to seven days. If concerned, please contact your GP prior to your child returning to school.

Emergency contact

To ensure your child receives the best possible care in an emergency, you should call 000 or go to your closest hospital that treats children.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact your doctor.

Contact Mater Children’s Private Brisbane

Salmon Building, level 5 and level 7

Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Telephone: 07 3163 8111



Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-470002
Last modified 01/4/2019.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 08/4/2015
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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