tonsillectomy

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A tonsillectomy is the excision of one or both tonsils.

Note:

  • there is evidence from a study by Van Staaij and colleagues (1) that immediate surgery (adenotonsillectomy) did not reduce episodes of fever, throat infections, upper respiratory tract infections, and health related quality of life
    • study randomising 300 children aged 2-8 years with these symptoms to adenotonsillectomy or watchful waiting
    • median follow up period of 22 months
      • adenotonsillectomy was more effective in children who had three to six throat infections than in those who had up to two
      • twelve children had complications after surgery
    • Little, in a BMJ commentary, points out that a third of children initially treated medically required surgery (2)
      • this study provides evidence that immediate surgery is not effective, not that tonsillectomy in itself is ineffective, but more data are needed to optimise treatment (2)

Reference:

  1. Van Staaij et al (2004). Effectiveness of adenotonsillectomy in children with mild symptoms of throat infections or adenotonsillar hypertrophy: open, randomised controlled trial. BMJ;329:651
  2. BMJ 2004; 329: 654

Last reviewed 01/2018

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