Objective: Although adenoidectomy is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in children, there is no satisfactory information about the risk of bacteremia during adenoidectomy and necessity of antibiotic use. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of bacteremia during adenoidectomy and identify the organisms leading to bacteremia. Methods: Thirty two patients who had undergone adenoidectomy at ENT Clinic of Sutcu Imam University were included in the study. They had received no antimicrobial therapy for at least 20 days before surgery. Adenoidal surface and deep tissue cultures were taken and venous blood samples were obtained for cultures before and immediately after adenoidectomy in which adenoid was removed with a curette. Results: While none of the blood cultures taken preoperatively was positive for any organisms, the cultures obtained postoperatively were positive in only two of 32 patients included in the study. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that there is an extremely low incidence of bacteremia during adenoidectomy. As a result, it may be concluded that the use of prophylactic antibiotics to prevent bacteremia or its complications is unnecessary unless the patient has a predisposing factor for cardiac infection like prosthetic valve replacement. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.