Impact of Ketorolac on Reoperation for Hemorrhage After Pediatric Tonsillectomy: A Single-Center Retrospective Propensity-Matched Study

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2024 Mar;170(3):928-936. doi: 10.1002/ohn.577. Epub 2023 Nov 5.


Objective: To determine if perioperative ketorolac is associated with an increased rate of reoperation for hemorrhage after pediatric tonsillectomy at 30 days and 48 hours.

Study design: Single-center retrospective propensity-matched study.

Setting: Quaternary pediatric hospital and ambulatory surgery center.

Methods: Patients less than 18 years old undergoing tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy between January 1, 2015 and October 1, 2020 were included. Hemorrhage rates between exposed (K+) and unexposed (K-) patients were calculated for the total cohort and a 1:1 propensity-matched cohort. Additional analyses included: multivariable logistic regression, subgroup analysis of ASA 1 and 2 patients, subgroup analysis comparing children with teenagers.

Results: There were 5873 patients (42.1% K+) in the full cohort and 4694 patients in the propensity-matched cohort. Reoperation for hemorrhage within 30 days occurred in 1.9% of K+ patients and 1.6% of K- patients (P = 0.455) in the full cohort and 1.9% of K+ patients and 1.7% of K- patients (odds ratio [OR] 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.72-1.69, P = 0.662) in the propensity-matched cohort. Reoperation within 48 hours occurred in 0.65% of K+ patients and 0.53% of K- patients (P = 0.679) in the full cohort and 0.68% of K+ patients and 0.51% of K- patients (OR 1.33, 95% CI 0.63-2.81, P = 0.451) in the propensity-matched cohort. There was no association between perioperative ketorolac administration and reoperation for hemorrhage in any of the other analyses.

Conclusion: Ketorolac at end of surgery should be considered as part of the nonopioid analgesic regimen for pediatric tonsillectomy.

Keywords: ketorolac; pediatric adenotonsillectomy; pediatric tonsillectomy; posttonsillectomy hemorrhage.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Hemorrhage
  • Humans
  • Ketorolac* / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tonsillectomy* / adverse effects


  • Ketorolac