Tonsillectomy does not reduce postoperative visits for upper respiratory infections
There appears to be no observable and significant reduction in the number of postoperation visits for upper respiratory infection following tonsillectomy, with upper respiratory infections dropping over time regardless of whether the procedure is performed or not, a new study reports.
The study included 5,831 individuals who had undergone tonsillectomy 23,324 matched controls who had not undergone the procedure. Only those who had tonsillectomy for benign conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, chronic tonsillar hypertrophy and chronic tonsillitis, were included. Those who had tonsillectomies for malignancies or who could not be sufficiently matched to controls were excluded from the final analysis.
The participants were the stratified according to different factors: (1) age, with each age group being based on 5-year intervals, (2) income classes, and (3) regions of residence, which were further categorized as urban or rural residences.
Cases of acute nasopharyngitis, acute pharyngitis and acute upper respiratory infection were defined as upper respiratory infections. Pre-operative visits for these were counted for up to 2 years prior to the operation, while post-operative visits were counted per year up to 2013.
From the analysis, it was found that there was no significant difference in the post-operative visits of upper respiratory infection between the control group and the tonsillectomy group.
Moreover, visits declined from 5.5 visits per 2 years pre-operation to 2.1 visits per year at 1 year after operation and, finally, to 1.4 visits per year at 9 years postoperation. This trend was apparent in both groups.
There was also no observed difference among the subgroups.
The findings show that tonsillectomy is not associated with a drop in the post-operative visits for upper respiratory infection.