Study questions clinical value of tonsillectomy for moderate recurrent tonsillitis


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new study has questioned the clinical value of tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy in certain patients, suggesting it may not significantly reduce medical care visits for pharyngitis and tonsillitis. 

The retrospective cohort study compared tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy (only children) with no surgical treatment among 1,044 children (aged, 

The authors reported that patients who underwent tonsillectomy and those who did not had statistically fewer medical care visits after surgery/fictitious surgery. A significantly greater decrease in medical care visits was observed for patients who underwent surgery compared with patients who did not.

However, the authors said the improvement was small when compared with no surgical treatment and was “of questionable clinical value."

Writing in the BMJ Open, the authors said the findings suggest the threshold for surgical intervention in both children and adults moderately or less affected by chronic or recurrent throat infections needs to be further studied and discussed as most patients seem to improve spontaneously within a year without surgery.