Tonsil surgery efficiently relieves symptoms: analysis of 54 696 patients in the National Tonsil Surgery Register in Sweden

Acta Otolaryngol. 2012 May;132(5):533-9. doi: 10.3109/00016489.2011.644252. Epub 2012 Jan 11.


Conclusion: Patients operated with tonsillar surgery report a high degree of symptom relief 6 months after surgery.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyze symptom relief 6 months after tonsil surgery in relation to age, indication, surgical procedure, primary bleeding and unplanned postoperative visits. The National Tonsil Surgery Register in Sweden offers data from 54,696 patients registered during 1997-2008.

Methods: This was a prospective assessment by questionnaire. Data were collected using three questionnaires, two completed by professionals and one 6 months postoperatively by the parents/patients.

Results: Among 54,696 patients, the most common surgical indications were obstruction (49.7%), followed by recurrent tonsillitis (35.2%). Symptom relief 6 months after surgery was high in all indication groups (>92%), and highest for patients operated on the indication peritonsillitis (>98%). The indications obstruction, recurrent tonsillitis or chronic tonsillitis reported a high degree (>96%) of symptom relief. Of the patients who underwent tonsillectomy with adenoidectomy, 97.5% were symptom-free compared to 96% of patients who had tonsillectomy alone and 96.1% who underwent tonsillotomy (p < 0.0001). In all, 13.9% of patients required an unplanned visit to the clinic postoperatively. Only 148 of 54,696 patients reported worsening of symptoms after surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Airway Obstruction / epidemiology
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Airway Obstruction / surgery
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Registries*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Tonsillectomy / methods*
  • Tonsillectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Tonsillitis / complications
  • Tonsillitis / epidemiology
  • Tonsillitis / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult