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Why is a tonsillectomy in a child less likely to involve complications than for an adult?

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Why is a tonsillectomy in a child less likely to involve complications than for an adult?
Posted Wed, 20 Feb 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

In general an adult is considered for tonsillectomy if they have 3 or more severe infections per year.
The most common complications are bleeding, pain, local trauma, air way obstruction, pulmonary edema, vomiting, infection.

Adults tend to have co morbid illnesses which may increase the risks of complications due to the conditions themselves and the medications required to treat them., Increasing age as well is often described as a risk factor for any surgical procedure. One study indicated that smoking may increase the risk of bleeding.
In addition adults are thought to increase higher level of pain than children, the exact reasons for this are unclear but may be related to a longer history of subjective experience of pain, other medical illnesses, the immune system affecting the rate of healing.
The use of steroids and antibiotics are thought to decrease the risk of complications.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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Follow-up: Why is a tonsillectomy in a child less likely to involve complications than for an adult? 36 hours later
What if any are the risks for children to have a tonillectomy?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 56 minutes later
Hi

The risks for adults and children are basically the same, it is just that , in some cases adults experience more significant problems.
The major risk is bleeding, though it does not usually occur, it is the most concerning risk. Bleeding is considered a risk up to 2 weeks post surgery.
The other risks are nausea and vomiting, infection, dehydration (from not wanting to use fluids) and pain.

The surgeon may suggest medication to reduce the risk.

Feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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