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Adult Tonsillectomy Shown to Be Safe — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 31, 2014

Adult Tonsillectomy Shown to Be Safe

By Amy Orciari Herman

Tonsillectomy in adults carries low risks for morbidity and mortality, according to a study in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery.

Researchers examined outcomes among some 6000 adults (average age, 30) across the U.S. who underwent tonsillectomy from 2005 through 2011, most often for chronic tonsillitis. The 30-day mortality rate was low, at 0.03%. Just 1.2% of patients experienced complications; over half were infections, with pneumonia being the most frequent. Some 3.2% of patients required reoperation within 30 days; male patients, inpatients, or those who'd experienced complications were mostly likely to need reoperation.

The researchers say the observed morbidity and mortality rates are similar to those seen among pediatric patients.

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