Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Nov;75(11):1391-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2011.07.035. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Predicting complications after adenotonsillectomy in children 3 years old and younger.

Author information

Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, United States.



To identify risk factors for complications in the first 24h after surgery in the young (<4 years old) adenotonsillectomy patient.


A retrospective chart review was performed at a tertiary care children's hospital. Consecutive records of all children of age 3 years and younger undergoing adenotonsillectomy over a 5 year period were included in the study. The main outcomes measured were total and airway complications occurring on post-operative days 0-1.


993 patients were included in the study. The mean age was 2.94 years old. Witnessed apneas (74.1%) and snoring (59.2%) were the most frequent pre-operative symptoms. 700 children were admitted with a mean length-of-stay of 1.22 days (0-9 days) and a mean time-to-oral intake of 0.28 days (0-4 days) among those patients admitted. The total number of complications was 102 in 98 patients (9.9%). There were 35 complications on post-operative days (POD) 0-1 (3.5%), and 23 of those were airway-related (2.3%). With regard to all complications on POD 0-1, significant predictors were nasal obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux disease, prematurity and a history of cardiovascular anomalies. Significant predictors of airway complications on POD 0-1 were younger age (1-2 years old), larger adenoid size, nasal obstruction, and a history of cardiovascular anomalies.


Knowing the stated risk factors for complications in the early post-operative period after adenotonsillectomy in the younger pediatric patient can help select certain patients for closer monitoring. Specifically, children aged 1-2 years old with a history of nasal obstruction from large adenoids, gastroesophageal reflux disease, prematurity, and/or cardiovascular anomalies appear to be at higher risk for early complications and should warrant closer observation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center