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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.

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Department of General Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.



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


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).


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.


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

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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