August 26, 2010

12 Year Old Child Dies After Tonsillectomy

There was a recent report of a 12 year old child who died after a routine tonsillectomy in Florida on Aug 15, 2010. Details on the exact circumstances of what caused her death has not been released and autopsy is pending.

However, this story does illustrate that even though tonsillectomy is one of the most common surgery performed in the United States and is considered routine, NO surgery is without risk.

Medical literature places the mortality rate from tonsillectomy between one in 15,000 and one in 35,000 procedures (0.03% - 0.06%), mostly from anesthesia complications, airway loss, and blood loss. Keep in mind, about 600,000 tonsillectomies are performed in the United States per year... which means about 30 deaths occur per year from this surgery.

As such, tonsillectomy should ONLY be performed if they are truly causing a significant health problem such as obstructive sleep apnea or recurrent tonsillar infections and NOT just because "they are big."

Read the story here.

Read more about tonsillectomy surgery here.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shit! I'm 12 and off for a tonsilectomy

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