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Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: tonsillectomy/adnoidectomy in a 3 year old

 splume - Fri Sep 17, 2004 6:38 pm

How much more dangerous is it to perform these procedures on a three year old than it is on an older child? I believe my daughter received the same surgery when she was 4 and now my son is having it, he will be 3 in October. What are the REAL complicatios or are the risks about the same?
 Dr. Russell M - Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:17 am

User avatar Hi!

I don't know of any more complication from tonsillectomy in a 3-year-old, compared to that in an older child.

A typical textbook complication list of tonsillectomy is provided below:

* Hemorrhage (the most common complication)

* Intraoperative complications.

* Primary (occurs within first 24 hours)

* Secondary (occurs between 24 hours and 10 days)

Other complications include the following:

* Pain (eg, sore throat, otalgia)

* Dehydration (common in children who will not eat because of pain)

* Weight loss (common in children who will not eat because of pain)

* Fever (not common, usually related to local infection)

* Postoperative airway obstruction (because of uvular edema, hematoma, aspirated material)

* Pulmonary edema (occurs in people with true airway obstruction caused by tonsils)

* Local trauma to oral tissues

* Tonsillar remnants

* Voice changes (if tonsils are very large the voice may be muffled)

* Psychological trauma, night terrors, or depression

* Death (uncommon; usually related to bleeding or anesthetic complications)

Hope this helps.


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