Tonsillectomies performed on adults are about as safe as those performed on pediatric patients, finds a new study published in JAMA Otolarynology Head & Neck Surgery.
The study's authors examined the outcomes of nearly 6,000 of the procedures performed on adults between 2005 and 2011. They found a reoperation rate of 3.2%, a complication rate of 1.2% and a 30-day mortality rate of 0.03%. Most (83%) of the patients had chronic tonsillitis and/or adenoiditis. The most common complications were pneumonia (27%), urinary tract infection (27%), and superficial site infections (16%).
The study is believed to be the first of its kind, say the authors, adding that the rates of complication and death are similar to those of children who have tonsillectomies.