Information for Patients
What are adenoids?
Adenoids are a patch of tissue that is high up in the throat, just behind the nose. They, along with the tonsils, are part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system clears away infection and keeps body fluids in balance. The adenoids and tonsils work by trapping germs coming in through the mouth and nose.
Adenoids usually start to shrink after about age 5. By the teenage years, they are almost completely gone. By then, the body has other ways to fight germs.
What are enlarged adenoids?
Enlarged adenoids are adenoids that are swollen. It is a common problem in children.
What causes enlarged adenoids?
Your child's adenoids can be enlarged, or swollen, for different reasons. It may just be that your child had enlarged adenoids at birth. Adenoids can also become enlarged when they are trying to fight off an infection. They might stay enlarged even after the infection is gone.
What problems can enlarged adenoids cause?
Enlarged adenoids can make it hard to breathe through the nose. Your child might end up breathing only through the mouth. This may cause:
- A dry mouth, which can also lead to bad breath
- Cracked lips
- A runny nose
Other problems that enlarged adenoids can cause include:
- Loud breathing
- Restless sleep
- Sleep apnea, a disorder that causes you to repeatedly stop breathing fduring sleep
- Ear infections
How can enlarged adenoids be diagnosed?
Your child's health care provider will take a medical history, check your child's ears, throat, and mouth, and feel your child's neck.
Since the adenoids are higher up than the throat, the provider cannot see them just by looking through your child's mouth. To check the size of your child's adenoids, your provider may use:
- A special mirror in the mouth
- A long, flexible tube with a light (an endoscope)
- An x-ray
What are the treatments for enlarged adenoids?
The treatment depends on what is causing the problem. If the symptoms are not too bad, your child may not need treatment. If treatment is needed, your child may get nasal spray to reduce the swelling or antibiotics if the provider thinks that there is a bacterial infection.
In some cases, your child may need an adenoidectomy.
What is an adenoidectomy and why might I my child need one?
An adenoidectomy is surgery to remove the adenoids. The provider may recommend this surgery if:
- Your child has repeated infections of the adenoids. Sometimes the infections can also cause ear infections and fluid buildup in the middle ear.
- Antibiotics can't get rid of a bacterial infection of the adenoids.
- The enlarged adenoids block the airways.
If there is also a problem with the tonsils, your child will probably have a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils) at the same time that the adenoids are removed.
After having the surgery, your child usually goes home the same day. Your child will probably have some throat pain, bad breath, and a runny nose. It can take several days to feel all better.
Throat cancer is a type of head and neck cancer. Throat cancer has different names, depending on which part of the throat is affected. The different parts of your throat are called the oropharynx, the hypopharynx, the nasopharynx, and the larynx, or voice box.
The main risk factors for throat cancer are using tobacco heavy drinking. Certain types of throat cancer also have other risk factors. For example, having HPV is a risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer.
Symptoms of throat cancer may include:
- A sore throat that does not go away
- A lump in the neck
- Pain or ringing in the ears
- Trouble swallowing
- Ear pain
To diagnose throat cancers, doctors may do a physical exam and history, imaging tests, and a biopsy. You may also need other tests, depending on the type of cancer. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Treatment for some types of throat cancer may also include targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances that attack specific cancer cells with less harm to normal cells.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
General Equivalence Map Definitions
The ICD-9 and ICD-10 GEMs are used to facilitate linking between the diagnosis codes in ICD-9-CM and the new ICD-10-CM code set. The GEMs are the raw material from which providers, health information vendors and payers can derive specific applied mappings to meet their needs.
- Approximate Flag - The approximate flag is on, indicating that the relationship between the code in the source system and the code in the target system is an approximate equivalent.
- No Map Flag - The no map flag indicates that a code in the source system is not linked to any code in the target system.
- Combination Flag - The combination flag indicates that more than one code in the target system is required to satisfy the full equivalent meaning of a code in the source system.
Index of Diseases and Injuries Definitions
- And - The word "and" should be interpreted to mean either "and" or "or" when it appears in a title.
- Code also note - A "code also" note instructs that two codes may be required to fully describe a condition, but this note does not provide sequencing direction.
- Code first - Certain conditions have both an underlying etiology and multiple body system manifestations due to the underlying etiology. For such conditions, the ICD-10-CM has a coding convention that requires the underlying condition be sequenced first followed by the manifestation. Wherever such a combination exists, there is a "use additional code" note at the etiology code, and a "code first" note at the manifestation code. These instructional notes indicate the proper sequencing order of the codes, etiology followed by manifestation.
- Type 1 Excludes Notes - A type 1 Excludes note is a pure excludes note. It means "NOT CODED HERE!" An Excludes1 note indicates that the code excluded should never be used at the same time as the code above the Excludes1 note. An Excludes1 is used when two conditions cannot occur together, such as a congenital form versus an acquired form of the same condition.
- Type 2 Excludes Notes - A type 2 Excludes note represents "Not included here". An excludes2 note indicates that the condition excluded is not part of the condition represented by the code, but a patient may have both conditions at the same time. When an Excludes2 note appears under a code, it is acceptable to use both the code and the excluded code together, when appropriate.
- Includes Notes - This note appears immediately under a three character code title to further define, or give examples of, the content of the category.
- Inclusion terms - List of terms is included under some codes. These terms are the conditions for which that code is to be used. The terms may be synonyms of the code title, or, in the case of "other specified" codes, the terms are a list of the various conditions assigned to that code. The inclusion terms are not necessarily exhaustive. Additional terms found only in the Alphabetic Index may also be assigned to a code.
- NEC "Not elsewhere classifiable" - This abbreviation in the Alphabetic Index represents "other specified". When a specific code is not available for a condition, the Alphabetic Index directs the coder to the "other specified” code in the Tabular List.
- NOS "Not otherwise specified" - This abbreviation is the equivalent of unspecified.
- See - The "see" instruction following a main term in the Alphabetic Index indicates that another term should be referenced. It is necessary to go to the main term referenced with the "see" note to locate the correct code.
- See Also - A "see also" instruction following a main term in the Alphabetic Index instructs that there is another main term that may also be referenced that may provide additional Alphabetic Index entries that may be useful. It is not necessary to follow the "see also" note when the original main term provides the necessary code.
- 7th Characters - Certain ICD-10-CM categories have applicable 7th characters. The applicable 7th character is required for all codes within the category, or as the notes in the Tabular List instruct. The 7th character must always be the 7th character in the data field. If a code that requires a 7th character is not 6 characters, a placeholder X must be used to fill in the empty characters.
- With - The word "with" should be interpreted to mean "associated with" or "due to" when it appears in a code title, the Alphabetic Index, or an instructional note in the Tabular List. The word "with" in the Alphabetic Index is sequenced immediately following the main term, not in alphabetical order.