Tonsillectomy may not really help

January 1, 2008

Other than giving children an excuse to eat ice cream, tonsillectomies may not be that beneficial, a new study found.

Other than giving children an excuse to eat ice cream, tonsillectomies may not be that beneficial, a new study found.

Erik Buskens and colleagues, writing in the Archives of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, looked at 300 children in Sweden between the ages of 2 and 8 who were advised to have their tonsils removed. Parents kept track of how much cost due to fever and throat infection each child racked up. (Keep in mind surgery in Sweden is less expensive than in the US.)

Children who kept their tonsils cost 551 € a year, on average. Children who had them removed racked up 803 € a year. Those with tonsils also had fewer sore throats, fevers, and respiratory problems. In addition, parent's time home taking care of the children was not considered as a cost.