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Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2010 Sep;107(36):622-8. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2010.0622. Epub 2010 Sep 10.

Recurrent tonsillitis in adults: quality of life after tonsillectomy.

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Marienhospital Gelsenkirchen GmbH, Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.



The aim of this study was to assess the effect of tonsillectomy in adults with recurrent tonsillitis on their quality of life and on their use of medical resources.


114 patients who had had at least three episodes of acute tonsillitis in the 12 months preceding tonsillectomy were evaluated pre- and postoperatively with a questionnaire developed by the authors, and with the Glasgow Benefit Inventory.


97 patients (85%) filled out the questionnaires completely. The Glasgow Benefit Inventory revealed an improvement in the overall score (+19) and in the partial scores for general well-being (+18) and physical health (+39). The degree of support from friends and family was unchanged (±0). Significant decreases were observed in visits to a physician, analgesic and antibiotic consumption, days off from work, and episodes of sore throat. The number of visits to a physician because of sore throat decreased from an average of five preoperatively to one postoperatively; the number of episodes of sore throat, from seven to two; and the number of days taken off from work, from twelve to one per year. 65% of the patients surveyed took analgesics for sore throat preoperatively, 7% postoperatively. 95% took antibiotics for sore throat preoperatively, 22% postoperatively.


Although this study had a number of limitations (small size, retrospective design, short follow-up), it was able to show that tonsillectomy for adults with recurrent tonsillitis improves health and quality of life and reduces the need to consume medical resources.

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