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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2012 Dec;121(12):776-81.

Significant post-tonsillectomy pain is associated with increased risk of hemorrhage.

Author information

1
Department of General Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria. stephanie@sarny.at

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

In this study, we set out to assess the association of postoperative pain types with the risk of hemorrhage after tonsillectomy.

METHODS:

The questionnaire-based study was conducted on 335 patients who had undergone tonsillectomy. Hemorrhage risk and postoperative pain were evaluated retrospectively with use of a visual analog scale for 5 time periods (day 1, days 2 to 3, days 4 to 7, days 7 to 14, and later).

RESULTS:

Five pain types were identified by a cluster analysis. The most frequent pain types, I (24.8%; 83 patients) and II (50.8%; 170 patients), show decreasing pain, with pain type II starting on a higher level than pain type I. Pain types III (10.7%; 36 patients) and IV (1.2%; 4 patients) start at a low level with increasing pain for the first few days. In type III, pain decreases after 1 week, whereas type IV consists of a high level of pain for more than 2 weeks. Pain type V (12.5%; 42 patients) involves a very high level of pain from the beginning, which decreases only gradually. Pain type I is associated with a low hemorrhage rate. Patients with increasing pain (types III and IV) and pain type V show a significantly higher hemorrhage risk.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients who have severe or increasing pain in the first few days after tonsillectomy have a significantly higher risk of hemorrhage.

PMID:
23342549
DOI:
10.1177/000348941212101202
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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