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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2000 Dec 22;56(3):199-205.

Parent satisfaction 1 year after adenotonsillectomy of their children.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital, Petersgraben 4, CH-4031, Basel, Switzerland.



Tonsillectomy is one of the most frequent as well as one of the most controversial operations performed in childhood.


To assess the expectations of parents before tonsillectomy and to assess their satisfaction 1 year after surgery.


664 children undergoing (adeno-)tonsillectomy were enrolled in a nation-wide prospective multicenter study. The child's medical history, clinical findings, and indication for tonsillectomy were recorded by the physicians at the time of surgery. The parents were asked to fill out a questionnaire and to list all symptoms from which they expected relief at the time of surgery and to assess the subjective benefit of the surgery 1 year post-operatively. Five-hundred and seventy six of the 664 patients' parents (87%) returned the follow-up questionnaire.


88% of the (adeno-)tonsillectomies were performed because of documented recurrent febrile tonsillitis or obstructive symptoms such as sleep apnea or snoring with restless sleep and daytime irritability. The number of episodes of febrile sore throat dropped from a mean of 6.7 in the year prior to surgery to a mean of 1.5 in the year after surgery (P<0.001). Obstructive symptoms disappeared in 80% of cases, 524 parents (91%) were satisfied with the benefit, 159 parents (28%) regretted not having arranged to have surgery performed earlier.


Our study shows that parents assess the outcome of tonsillectomy not with regard to one main symptom (e.g. recurrent sore throat) but with regard to a number of complaints. It also shows a high rate (91%) of parent satisfaction after tonsillectomy. For the indications studied, tonsillectomy remains the treatment of choice and should not be delayed or even denied to those children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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