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Adenotonsillectomy Complications


Child having her tonsils checkedThe Question:

Is it necessary to hospitalize children under 3 years when they have an adenotonsillectomy (surgical removal of adenoids and tonsils)?

The Study:

The records of one surgeon’s 105 3-year-old patients who had an adenotosillectomy at The New York-Presbyterian Hospital looked for complications such as bleeding, dehydration requiring readmission, and breathing problems. All the children were otherwise healthy and none had sleep apnea.

The Results:

The post-surgical complication rate was low. More than 93 percent had no complications at all. All the readmissions were due to dehydration. Two children had mild complications while in the recovery area. The problems were treated and the children were still sent home the same day.


Hospitals are not healthy places for anyone, particularly children who have just had surgery. In carefully screened children, it’s safe for them to go home the same day they have their adenotonsillectomy.

Read More:

Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 05/12

For more information on children's health go to Pediatrics for Parents.

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