The Evolution of the Tonsillectomy

by admin on December 4, 2017

During the first half of the 20th century, tonsillectomies were the most commonly performed surgery in the United StatesÌ¢‰â‰۝nearly every child had his or her tonsils removed as a matter of course. The procedure’s popularity largely came from its ability to prevent infections such as strep throat and scarlet fever in an era before antibiotics became widely available.

As antibiotics grew more and more accessible in the latter half of the 20th century, the tonsillectomy became slightly less popular. In most circles, however, it was still generally regarded as a reliable solution for children who contracted strep throat and related diseases frequently.

In 2011, however, the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) published research suggesting that tonsillectomies may be necessary only in the most severe cases. Specifically, the AAO recommended that physicians only perform tonsillectomies when children suffer multiple serious infections, seven or more per year, or if those infections are especially painful.

Notable in the publication was the recommendation that tonsillectomies also be performed for children whose tonsils block their ability to breathe during sleep.

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