Background: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of tonsillectomy in adults with recurrent tonsillitis on their quality of life and on their use of medical resources.
Method: 114 patients who had had at least three episodes of acute tonsillitis in the 12 months preceding tonsillectomy were evaluated pre- and postoperatively with a questionnaire developed by the authors, and with the Glasgow Benefit Inventory.
Results: 97 patients (85%) filled out the questionnaires completely. The Glasgow Benefit Inventory revealed an improvement in the overall score (+19) and in the partial scores for general well-being (+18) and physical health (+39). The degree of support from friends and family was unchanged (±0). Significant decreases were observed in visits to a physician, analgesic and antibiotic consumption, days off from work, and episodes of sore throat. The number of visits to a physician because of sore throat decreased from an average of five preoperatively to one postoperatively; the number of episodes of sore throat, from seven to two; and the number of days taken off from work, from twelve to one per year. 65% of the patients surveyed took analgesics for sore throat preoperatively, 7% postoperatively. 95% took antibiotics for sore throat preoperatively, 22% postoperatively.
Conclusion: Although this study had a number of limitations (small size, retrospective design, short follow-up), it was able to show that tonsillectomy for adults with recurrent tonsillitis improves health and quality of life and reduces the need to consume medical resources.