Negative Impact of Tonsillectomy on Health

Adverse Effects of  Tonsil Removal Surgery on Health

Negative Impact of Tonsillectomy on Health

Early post-operative adverse health effects

Early post-operative adverse health effects associated with tonsil surgery can be grouped as follows:

- anesthesia risks
- postoperative pain
- postoperative bleeding.

Bleeding rate in the first 24 hours postoperatively varies between 0.2% and 2.2%.

Apart from these, trauma to the pharynx, larynx and palate area, although rare, may be associated with anesthesia risks such as difficult intubation, laryngospasm, laryngeal edema, aspiration, heart disorders, nausea, vomiting, and pulmonary edema.

Since the operation is performed by opening the mouth, lip injuries and jaw joint injuries can also be seen very rarely.

I have not seen any of the above-mentioned risks and complications, except that only a few patients had minor bleeding.

Children with hypertrophied tonsils and adenoid have long been accustomed to taking small amounts of oxygen. Oxygen may enter the lungs after surgery and may cause respiratory distress. In hospitals where tonsil and adenoid surgery will be performed, the experience of anesthesia team, the presence of intensive care units and the presence of different responsible physicians at the beginning of these units may reduce these risks.

Adverse Effects of Tonsil Removal Surgery on Health

Adverse effects or problems that may occur later

Adverse effects or problems that may occur later in the surgery:

- malnutrition and dehydration due to sore throat (loss of fluid in the body)

- ear pain (usually begins on day 3 after tonsillectomy and disappears within a few days)

- stenosis due to damage in the nasal region (especially seen after traumatic nasal surgery)

- velopharyngeal insufficiency (when adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy is performed, the airway width in the adenoid region increases and air may escape from the mouth to nose while talking too much, can be seen in the first few weeks after surgery, usually resolves spontaneously, and surgery can be performed in patients who do not recover spontaneously)

Complications have been reported to be more common in patients with craniofacial disorders.

Adverse effects or problems that is very rare in the late period

After tonsillectomy surgery, it is very rare in the late period, but the following negative conditions may also occur:

- taste disorders
- vascular injuries and severe bleeding
- persistent neck pain

These risks can be reduced with tonsil surgeries performed in hospitals where intensive and experienced anesthesia team has intensive care conditions with thermal welding method, which causes minimal tissue damage and blood loss.

Research on children with large tonsils has shown that tonsil surgery has many benefits rather than damages. In the last year, the clear relation between tonsil size and severity of sleep apnea syndrome has been shown and the frequency of tonsil surgery has increased.

Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon - ENT Doctor in Istanbul

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