Does synchronous nasal surgery increase the risk of post-operative haemorrhage in adult patients undergoing tonsillectomy?
Otolaryngologists occasionally perform simultaneous procedures on their patients, the indication being co-existent pathology. This is not a universally accepted practice as some feel that the post-operative morbidity is increased in such patients.
Tonsillectomy is a common otolaryngological procedure and the main life-threatening complication, haemorrhage is easily identifiable. This study compares the incidence of post-operative haemorrhage requiring admission in patients undergoing tonsillectomy alone with that in patients undergoing tonsillectomy and nasal surgery.
A retrospective study was undertaken of all adult patients undergoing tonsillectomy alone or tonsillectomy and synchronous nasal surgery in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Seventy-one patients (34 male) with a mean age of 23 years underwent tonsillectomy and synchronous nasal surgery over a nine-year period 1991–1999. The commonest nasal procedure was reduction of the inferior turbinates (in 48 cases). Three hundred and ninety-eight patients (131 male) with a mean age of 23 years underwent tonsillectomy alone over a nine-month period, July 1998 to April 1999.
The incidence of post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage in the synchronous nasal surgery group was 12.7 per cent (9 out of 71) compared with four per cent (16 out of 398) in the tonsillectomy alone group (p <0.01, Chi-squared test). There was no difference in hospital stay between the two groups (mean two days).
Synchronous nasal surgery increases the incidence of post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage.
Key Words: Tonsillectomy; Haemorrhage; Nose; Surgery.