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Clinical Practice Guideline: Tonsillectomy in Children

Clinical Practice Guideline: Tonsillectomy in Children

This guideline was published as a supplement in the January 2011 issue of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery and is currently undergoing an update.

Timeline: Tentatively scheduled for January 2019. 

Update Leadership: Ron B. Mitchell, MD (Chair), Sanford M. Archer, MD (Assistant Chair), Stacey L. Ishman, MD, MPH (Methodologist), Richard M. Rosenfeld, MD, MPH (Consultant)

Guideline Update Group: To be determined

The information below is from the original publication.

This guideline is intended for all clinicians in any setting who interact with children aged 1 to 18 years who may be candidates for tonsillectomy. The guideline does not apply to tonsillotomy, intracapsular surgery, or other partial removal techniques of the tonsil because of the relatively sparse high-quality published evidence on these techniques and limited long-term follow-up. Similarly, the guideline does not apply to populations of children excluded from most tonsillectomy research studies, including those with diabetes mellitus, cardiopulmonary disease, craniofacial disorders, congenital anomalies of the head and neck region, sickle cell disease, and other coagulopathies or immunodeficiency disorders.

Leadership: Reginald Baugh, MD (Chair); Sanford Archer, MD (Assistant Chair); Ron Mitchell, MD (Assistant Chair); Richard M. Rosenfeld, MD, MPH (Methodologist)

Guideline Development Group: Raouf Amin, MD; James Burns, MD; David Darrow, MD, DDS; Terri Giordano, MSN; Ronald Litman, DO; Kasey Li, MD, DDS; Mary Ellen Mannix, MRPE; Richard H. Schwartz, MD; Gavin Setzen, MD; Ellen R. Wald, MD; Eric Wall, MD, MPH; Gemma Sandberg, MA

Endorsements: Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head – Neck Nurses, Inc. Oct 2011


For Patients

In 2012 the ABIM Foundation launched Choosing Wisely® with a goal of advancing a national dialogue on avoiding wasteful or unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.

Choosing Wisely centers around conversations between providers and patients informed by the evidence-based recommendations.

Access the AAO-HNSF Choosing Wisely List of 10 Things Providers and Patients Should Question

Oral antibiotics may have significant adverse effects and do not provide demonstrable benefit after tonsillectomy. Avoidance of oral antibiotics can reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance and the risk of opportunistic infections.