Incidence of Tonsillectomy Complications (A 10-Year Study of 4042 Cases)


Department of ENT, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, TEHRAN-IRAN


Background: According to the prevalence of tonsillectomy, this study was performed to evaluate the complications in patients that had referred between the years 1989 and 1998. Materials and Methods: This was an observational retrospective study performed on 4042 patients who underwent tonsillectomy during 10 years. (From those, 2708 cases underwent surgery in one center and the remaining 1324 cases underwent tonsillectomy in another center by otolaryngologists). Records of the patients in both groups were surveyed in regard to complications. Results: A total number of 113 (2.79%) patients had complications. Complications were mostly seen in the age group of 5-9 years. The most common complication was bleeding which occurred in 59 patients (1.46%). Other complications in order of prevalence were clot formation or hematoma in the tonsillar fossa, tongue and soft palate edema, airway obstruction, hoarseness, persistent vomiting, infection of the parapharyngeal space, dental complications, remaining of a broken needle in tonsillar fossa, and death. Conclusion: According to the high prevalence of tonsillectomy in our country and high rate of bleeding and its related risks which may even lead to death and also the role of skill and attention of the surgeon and anesthesiologist during surgery and postoperative care in recovery room and in the ward, it is recommended for the surgeon to consider all of the related cares and perform surgery after acquiring the necessary skill with the help of an expert anesthesiologist to minimize the complications. (Tanaffos 2004; 3(11): 65-69)