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Position Statment: Tonsil and Adenoid Surgery

Position Statment: Tonsil and Adenoid Surgery

Otolaryngologists use a variety of safe and efficacious techniques and instruments to perform tonsil and adenoid surgery. Based on available data, the AAO-HNS does not find that one technique or instrument is clearly superior. The AAO-HNS supports the discretion of surgeons to determine and recommend the appropriate treatment for each individual patient. The AAO-HNS will continue to review this issue and otolaryngologists should continue to review their success and complications with their chosen technique to maximize safety, consistency, and surgical efficacy for patients undergoing tonsil and adenoid surgery.

Approved: 11/1/2007
Reaffirmed: 2/13/2013
Updated: 8/11/2020


Mitchell RB, Archer SM, Ishman SL, Rosenfeld RM, Coles S, Finestone SA, Friedman NR, Giordano T, Hildrew DM, Kim TW, Lloyd RM, Parikh SR, Shulman ST, Walner DL, Walsh SA, Nnacheta LC. Clinical Practice Guideline: Tonsillectomy in Children (Update). Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Feb;160(1_suppl):S1-S42.

Burton MJ, Doree C. Coblation versus other surgical techniques for tonsillectomy.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jul 18;(3)

Bhandari N, Don DM, Koempel JA. The incidence of revision adenoidectomy: A comparison of four surgical techniques over a 10-year period. Ear Nose Throat J. 2018 Jun;97(6):E5-E9.

Ferreira MS, Mangussi-Gomes J, Ximendes R, Evangelista AR, Miranda EL, Garcia LB, Stamm AC. Comparison of three different adenoidectomy techniques in children – has the conventional technique been surpassed? Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 Jan;104:145-149.

Baugh RF, Sanford MA, Mitchell RB, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Tonsillectomy in Children. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery 2011;144(1S):S1-30.

Important Disclaimer Notice (Updated 7/31/14)

Position statements are approved by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery or Foundation (AAO-HNS/F) Boards of Directors and are typically generated from AAO-HNS/F committees. Once approved by the Academy or Foundation Board of Directors, they become official position statements and are added to the existing position statement library. In no sense do they represent a standard of care. The applicability of position statements, as guidance for a procedure, must be determined by the responsible physician in light of all the circumstances presented by the individual patient. Adherence to these clinical position statements will not ensure successful treatment in every situation. As with all AAO-HNS/F guidance, this position statement should not be deemed inclusive of all proper treatment decisions or methods of care, nor exclusive of other treatment decisions or methods of care reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. Position statements are not intended to and should not be treated as legal, medical, or business advice.

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