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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 1992 Jul 18;136(29):1409-13.

[Prevention and control of pain in (adeno)tonsillectomy].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

Emma Kinderziekenhuis/Het Kinder AMC, Amsterdam.


Pain prevention and analgesia in (adeno)tonsillectomy OBJECTIVE. To study the efficacy of three analgesia protocols in children subjected to (adeno)tonsillectomy.


Twenteborg District Hospital, Almelo, the Netherlands.


In 64 children with body weights ranging from 15 to 25 kg (mean 20.4 kg) subjected to (adeno) tonsillectomy according to the procedure most current in the Netherlands (according to Sluder with administration of a volatile anaesthetic without intubation in day treatment), three protocols for preventing and treating postoperative pain were applied, with the analgetics most current in the Netherlands. Permission from the Medical Ethical Committee and written informed consent from the parents were obtained. According to protocol I 240 mg paracetamol was given, according to protocol II, 500 mg paracetamol and according to protocol III, 500 mg paracetamol plus 10 mg codeine, in suppository form, every 4 hours always starting 60 minutes before operation. Initially, protocol I was carried out, subsequently randomization of protocols II and III. After a pilot study use of a control group was omitted for ethical reasons because of the severe pain in a placebo group.


The efficacy of the analgesia was evaluated by means of pain assessments by the children themselves using the Oucher test, 1, 3 and 6 hours after operation. The statistical processing of the children's pain scores was performed primarily in a descriptive sense, with simultaneous comparison of the three groups using a single variance analysis for comparison of several groups. Multiple comparisons were carried out according to Ducans' multiple range test. The level of significance was put at p less than or equal to 0.05.


One hour postoperatively there was no significant difference among the mean pain scores (0: no pain and 10: very bad pain) of the three groups, viz. 5.2 (SD 3.0), 4.7 (SD 2.9) and 4.7 (SD 2.3), respectively; three hours postoperatively there was a significant difference between the mean pain scores of group I (4.5; SD 2.4) and group II (2.7; SD 2.4) but not between group I and group III (3.3; SD 1.5); six hours postoperatively there was a significant difference between the mean pain scores of group I (4.1; SD 2.1) on the one hand and of groups II (2.1; SD 1.5) and III (2.6; SD 1.6) on the other.


The findings indicate existence of violent pain immediately after recovery from anaesthesia after (adeno)tonsillectomy as shown by the pain assessments by the children themselves one hour postoperatively, in spite of preventive administration of a high dose of a 'minor' analgetic according to each of the three protocols. Modification of the anaesthetic technique should be considered to effect adequate prevention or suppression of pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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