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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Dec;137(12):1197-202. doi: 10.1001/archoto.2011.196.

Efficacy of tonsillectomy for pediatric patients with Dysphagia and tonsillar hypertrophy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA. clayburg@ohsu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effectiveness of tonsillectomy for the treatment of dysphagia related to tonsillar hypertrophy.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Tertiary care pediatric otolaryngology practice.

PARTICIPANTS:

Eighty-five children aged 2 to 14 years referred for tonsillectomy owing to dysphagia related to tonsillar hypertrophy (dysphagia cohort) or for other indications (control cohort).

INTERVENTIONS:

Swallowing Quality of Life (SWAL-QOL) dysphagia questionnaires were administered at the initial clinic visit, on the day of surgery, and at 1 month and 6 months after surgery. Patients were weighed on the day of surgery and at 1 month after surgery.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary outcome measure was the SWAL-QOL score. Secondary outcome measures were the type of diet consistency patients tolerated at home and the weight percentile for age.

RESULTS:

Of 85 patients enrolled, 57 went on to have surgery, completed at least 1 postoperative questionnaire, and were included in the data analysis. At 1 month after tonsillectomy, the dysphagia cohort (n = 18) demonstrated improved SWAL-QOL scores (mean [SD], 58.4 [4.8] before surgery vs 82.4 [5.3] after surgery; P < .001), more patients tolerating a regular diet (12 of 37 patients [33.3%] before surgery vs 22 of 36 [60.0%] after surgery, P = .01), and increased weight percentile for age (mean [SD], 36.5 [10.7] before surgery vs 50.0 [10.6] after surgery; P = .01). Similarly, at 1 month after tonsillectomy, the control cohort (n = 39) demonstrated improved SWAL-QOL scores (mean [SD], 80.8 [2.6] before surgery vs 91.7 [1.8] after surgery; P < .001), more patients tolerating a regular diet (30 of 37 patients [81.1%] before surgery vs 34 of 36 patients [94.4%] after surgery, P = .04), and increased weight percentile for age (mean [SD], 62.8 [5.4] before surgery vs 70.4 [5.1] after surgery; P = .003).

CONCLUSIONS:

Dysphagia related to tonsillar hypertrophy is a significant problem not only among children with dysphagia with a primary complaint but also among a large subset of patients referred for tonsillectomy for other indications. Following tonsillectomy, both groups experience significant improvement in swallowing-related quality of life, ability to tolerate a regular diet, and weight percentile for age. Tonsillectomy is an effective treatment for the management of dysphagia related to tonsillar hypertrophy in children.

PMID:
22183897
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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