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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2003 Jun;67(6):603-7.

Current indications for (adeno)tonsillectomy in children: a survey in The Netherlands.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Despite the fact that (adeno)tonsillectomy is one of the procedures most frequently performed on children, studies of current indications are scarce. The purpose of this study is to determine the indications for (adeno)tonsillectomy in children younger than 15 years of age according to Dutch ENT surgeons and general practitioners (GPs).


During a period of 8 months, 18 ENT surgeons in seven ENT practices and 210 referring GPs filled out standard questionnaires for 349 children listed for tonsil surgery.


Apart from recurrent tonsillitis (ENT: 40%, GP: 35%), findings such as enlarged tonsils (ENT: 42%, GP: 24%) and tonsillar crypt debris (ENT: 29%, GP: 17%) and non-specific symptoms such as listlessness (ENT: 28%, GP: 19%) and poor appetite (ENT: 28%, GP: 16%) were considered important criteria for surgery. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea were present in 25% (ENT) and 6% (GP) of patients but were considered indicative for surgery in only 11% (ENT) and 4% (GP). In contrast to ENT surgeons, GPs considered otitis media and hearing loss relatively important for (adeno)tonsillectomy.


Apart from the generally accepted indications such as recurrent tonsillitis and obstructive sleep apnea, other indications play an equally important role in the decision to perform tonsil surgery in The Netherlands.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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