Impact of adenotonsillectomy on pediatric quality of life: review of the literature

Ital J Pediatr. 2017 Nov 25;43(1):107. doi: 10.1186/s13052-017-0424-2.


Adenotonsillectomy (ADT) is one of the most widely used procedures in the treatment of paediatric recurrent acute tonsillitis (RAT) and obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS), both of which have significant repercussions on the patients' quality of life (QoL). The purpose of our review of literature was to highlight the great variety of tools that are currently used to evaluate QoL in children, to examine data available on their efficacy and the feasibility of their use in daily clinical practice, and to determine possible limitations related to an indirect and subjective assessment of QoL in children.Although the use of different parameters makes it difficult to compare the published studies, an analysis of the evidence currently available in the literature suggests that ADT has a generally positive impact on the QoL (especially in case of OSAS). It also highlights the importance of combining tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in the treatment of OSAS, and documents the comparability of tonsillectomy and tonsillotomy in improving obstructive symptoms. In conclusion, our findings suggest that literature supports that ADT is associated with positive changes in QOL; however further studies using comparable standardised criteria are necessary to confirm the size and duration of this benefit.

Keywords: Adenotonsillectomy; Children; OSAS; Quality of life; Tonsillitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / prevention & control
  • Tonsillectomy / methods*
  • Tonsillitis / diagnosis
  • Tonsillitis / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome