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Where the nose and mouth meet, there are adenoids, better known as vegetations, but don't pretend to see them in the mirror as it will be impossible. What you can see are tonsils or palatine tonsils, which, like adenoids, can also become inflamed. They are made up of lymphatic tissue and their exact function continues to be the subject of scientific debate.
In theory, these are organs through which the body "learns" to recognize the strange and to defend itself. However, many of the children who have their adenoids, tonsils, or both removed do not subsequently suffer an increase in the number of infections. We tell you when it is decided to operate on a vegetative child.
When the adenoids are larger than normal, some symptoms appear. That is when, colloquially, it is said that a child "has vegetations". In medicine, we speak of adenoid hypertrophy. It is a characteristic situation of young children, between 3 and 6 years old, and its origin could be recurrent colds, although this is not entirely clear either.
The symptoms typical of adenoid hypertrophy are those due to obstruction to the passage of air through the nose, as its rear outlet is obstructed. That is to say:
- Open mouth breathing continuously (adenoid facies).
- Snoring while sleeping.
- Tcharacteristic voice tone, having a stuffy nose.
- Bad breath in the morning (halitosis).
- Nasal congestion, persistent cough and runny nose
- Ear infections (otitis) repeated.
- Short pauses in breathing during sleep (apnea breaks).
- Drowsiness during the day due to poor night rest.
In the presence of any of these symptoms, the ENT specialist will assess each case and carry out explorations and complementary tests to confirm the suspected diagnosis of adenoid hypertrophy.
And when do you have to think about operating? Each case must be assessed individually by the specialist in otorhinolaryngology. The decision will be made based on age and the impact of symptoms. The goal, as always in Medicine and Surgery, is that the expected benefits outweigh the risks of the intervention.
The surgery is relatively simple. It requires general anesthesia, but usually the child can go home the same day of the intervention and complications are rare. Vegetations are not a clearly delimited organ, so it is difficult to achieve complete extirpation. Because of that, sometimes a second surgery is necessary after months or years, especially if the first was done at an early age.
Often times, the time to remove the vegetations (adenoidectomy) is used forTo also remove the tonsils (tonsillectomy), in a procedure called adenotonsillectomy.
You can read more articles similar to When to operate on a vegetative child, in the category of Childhood Diseases on site.