A new UK study has found that only one in every eight children who have tonsillectomies benefit from the operation…
Does your child need his or her tonsils to be taken out? You may want to get a second opinion since findings of a new study have some experts questioning if a tonsillectomy is ever essential in any child.
University of Birmingham researchers analysed the electronic medical records of over 1,6 million children from more than 700 UK general practices dating between 2005 and 2016.
Out of 18 271 children who had their tonsils removed during this time, only 2 144 (11,7 per cent) had enough sore throats to justify surgery.
The researchers at the University’s Institute of Applied Health Research concluded that annually 32 500 children undergo needless tonsillectomies.
What’s more, they found that many children who might benefit from having their tonsils removed are not having the surgical procedure. They found that of 15 764 children who had records showing sufficient sore throats to undergo a tonsillectomy, just 2 144 (13,6 per cent) actually went on to have one.
The researchers found that, of those who had undergone a tonsillectomy, 12,4 per cent had reported five to six sore throats in a year; 44,7 per cent had suffered two to four sore throats in a year and 9,9 per cent had just one sore throat in a year.
Children may be more harmed than helped by a tonsillectomy
“Research shows that children with frequent sore throats usually suffer fewer sore throats over the next year or two. In those children with enough documented sore throats, the improvement is slightly quicker after tonsillectomy, which means surgery is justified,” said Tom Marshall, Professor or Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Birmingham, said: “But research suggests that children with fewer sore throats don’t benefit enough to justify surgery, because the sore throats tend to go away anyway.
“Our research showed that most children who had their tonsils removed weren’t severely enough affected to justify treatment, while on the other hand, most children who were severely enough affected with frequent sore throats did not have their tonsils removed. The pattern changed little over the 12-year period.
“Children may be more harmed than helped by a tonsillectomy. We found that, even among severely affected children, only a tiny minority should ever have had their tonsils out. It makes you wonder if tonsillectomy is ever really essential in any child.”
Source: University of Birmingham via www.sciencedaily.com
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