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Factors Influencing the Indication for Tonsillectomy: A Historical Overview and Current Concepts
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Otorhinolaryngology in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Otorhinolaryngology in Linköping.
2013 (English)In: Journal for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, ISSN 0301-1569, E-ISSN 1423-0275, Vol. 75, no 3, 184-191 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Tonsil surgery has been performed for more than 3,000 years. During the 19th century when anesthesia became available, techniques were refined and the number of procedures performed increased. Repeated throat infections often causing big tonsils was the reason why parents asked for the procedure. During the preantibiotic era, scarlet fever was feared since potential heart or kidney complications were life-threatening. The technique used before 1900 was tonsillotomy since neither a fingernail, snare nor the later guillotine were used extracapsularly. Bleeding was small and the surgery ambulatory. Extracapsular tonsillectomy developed around the turn of the 20th century with the purpose of avoiding remnants the focal infection theory was prevailing. The whole tonsil was now extirpated with good visibility of the tonsillar area in a deeply anesthetized patient. During the first half of the 20th century, the two methods competed, but by 1950, total tonsillectomy had become the only correct tonsil surgery. The indication was still recurrent infections. The risk for serious bleeding increased; therefore large clinics arose where patients remained for at least a week after tonsillectomy. When oral penicillin for children became available during the 1960s, the threat of throat infection decreased and the number of tonsillectomies declined. The awareness of obstructive problems in children rose at the same time when obstructive sleep apnea syndrome became a disease for adults (1970s). Tonsillotomy was revived during the 1990s and is today used increasingly in many countries. The indication is mainly obstructive sleep apnea syndromeor sleep-disordered breathing, especially in small children. Total tonsillectomy is still preferred for recurrent infections, which include periodic fever/adenitis/pharyngitis/aphthous ulcer syndrome and recurrent peritonsillitis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karger , 2013. Vol. 75, no 3, 184-191 p.
Keyword [en]
Tonsil surgery history, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillotomy
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97678DOI: 10.1159/000342322ISI: 000323592200014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-97678DiVA: diva2:649963
Available from: 2013-09-19 Created: 2013-09-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06

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Hultcrantz, ElisabethEricsson, Elisabeth

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Division of NeuroscienceFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology in LinköpingDivision of Nursing Science
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