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Remove Adenoids For Sleep Apnea (Adenoidectomy)


How can enlarged adenoids cause sleep apnea?

Adenoids are a patch of tissue that is high up in the throat, just behind the nose. Along with the tonsils, they are part of the lymphatic system that clears away infection and keeps fluids in balance. The adenoids and tonsils work together by trapping germs coming in through the mouth and nose. Adenoids usually start to shrink after age five. By the teenage years, they are almost completely gone. By then, the body has other ways to fight germs and infections. However, adenoids can become enlarged or swollen for various reasons. Some children have enlarged adenoids at birth. They can also become enlarged when trying to fight off an infection – and they may stay enlarged after the infection is gone. When adenoids do remain swollen or enlarged, they can make it hard to breathe through the nose – and your child may end up breathing only through the mouth, which in turn may cause:

  • Loud breathing
  • Snoring
  • Ear infections
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

In the case of sleep apnea, it’s a condition that should be treated as soon as symptoms and side effects appear. These may include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Poor attention span
  • Behavioral issues
  • Poor performance at school

Many times, sleep apnea in children is misdiagnosed as ADHD. Subsequently, a child with sleep apnea who is misdiagnosed will not be properly treated for the sleep disorder, which can also lead to heart disease down the road. A sleep specialist and/or physician with experience treating sleep apnea can accurately diagnose sleep apnea through an overnight sleep test or home sleep test.

What is the treatment if my child is diagnosed with sleep apnea due to enlarged adenoids?

If your child has repeated infections of the adenoids that are determined to block the airway and contribute to sleep apnea, an adenoidectomy will likely be recommended. An adenoidectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which your child’s adenoids will be removed. The tonsils are sometimes removed at the same time.

Is the adenoidectomy an outpatient procedure?

Yes, adenoidectomy surgery is usual an outpatient procedure. Patients undergoing adenoidectomy surgery are provided with general anesthesia and the entire surgery lasts between 30 to 45 minutes.

Is an adenoidectomy covered by insurance?

An adenoidectomy for the treatment of sleep apnea is usually covered by health insurance.

Why choose NYC SleepWell for an adenoidectomy?

Led by Dr. Ruben Cohen, a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, our skilled team of sleep specialists, ENT surgeons, dentists and anaesthesiologists have extensive experience in in all surgical, non-surgical, and dental treatments for a wide array of conditions related to sleep apnea. For your added peace-of-mind, our facility is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Gold Standard in Accreditation. Our goal at NYC SleepWell, plain and simple, is to help you sleep well – and be healthy!


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