No, adenoids aren’t the same as the tonsils but they’re close, literally and figuratively. Very often, when the doctor takes out the tonsils, they also take out the adenoids. Tonsils are located at the back of the throat and are easy to see when the mouth is open, but adenoids, which are similar anatomically to tonsils, are located in the back of the throat behind the hard palate and toward the rear opening of the nose. One procedure is a tonsillectomy, the other is an adenoidectomy. AS you might guess, in a tonsillectomy, the tonsils are removed. In an adenoidectomy, the adenoids are removed.
I decided to get rid of the tonsils because I had recurrent episodes of tonsillitis, where they were inflamed and interfered with my breathing while I slept. Also, I had the really disgusting problem of tonsil stones, which are mucus, dead cells, dead bacteria and other gunk that had hardened and set up house in the crevices of my tonsils. I wanted to get rid of my tonsils just because of that. The adenoidectomy was a bit of a bonus.
Before the tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy the surgical team, thank goodness, puts you under general anesthesia. Then, they slice out the tonsils and the adenoids. Afterwards you wake up with the mother of all sore throats. It’s quite terrible. After an adenoidectomy or during tonsillectomy recovery, you will be ingesting lots of very, very cold and slippery substances ice water and Jell-o. You will press many ice packs to your throat. You’d swallow pain killer after pain killer if you could, but even taking a pill is excruciating. Plus, your nose might be stuffed up and runny and your ears might ache because nature in her wisdom gave the tonsils and the ears the same neural pathways.
But a funny thing happens after a couple of weeks. The pain fades and you can sleep and your husband or wife notices that you no longer snore. The tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy looks like they worked!