Adult tonsillectomies safe, low complication rates

Researchers looked at nearly 6,000 cases

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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When you think of tonsillectomies you probably think of kids. But it's a procedure that many adults also endure and a recent study finds it's safe with very low complication rates.

"The nice thing about this particular study is it verifies that they're safe. So, if you get to that point and you have to have an operation then it seems that it is safe to do," explained Dr. Mike Benninger, an ear, nose and throat expert at Cleveland Clinic.

Yale University researchers looked at the end-result of tonsillectomies done on nearly 6,000 adults. They found the complication rate was only 1 percent and the reoperation rate 3 percent. The most common complications were pneumonia, urinary tract infections and surgical-site infections.

Researchers say any adult who is faced with having their tonsils out should consider the procedure safe. Benninger says if you're missing work for days at a time because of your throat, you should get your tonsils checked.

"In adults we really look for people with bad infections. So, recurrent multiple infections, prior history of abscesses," he said.

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