In our academic pediatric otolaryngology practice at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, since January 1999 we have used a routine follow-up telephone call in place of the postoperative visit for patients who have undergone adenoidectomy and/or tonsillectomy. Previously, patients were scheduled for follow-up visits 3 months after surgery, usually with a nurse practitioner. Currently, at the time of surgery, parents are made aware that a nurse will call them in 6 to 8 weeks. As in the study by Rosbe et al,1 parents are encouraged to contact us at any point before or after the telephone contact, and our questionnaire addresses similar issues. The nurse also checks the pathology report, which the surgeon does not uniformly receive. This policy was adopted for all patients regardless of age, and patients with comorbidities are not necessarily scheduled for return visits unless specific otolaryngological follow-up (such as for ear disease or severe sleep apnea) is deemed necessary. We note that many of these patients with cardiac or syndromic disorders are followed up in numerous other pediatric clinics at our medical center, where communication between the pediatric specialties is easily facilitated. The need for otolaryngological follow-up may also depend on the comfort level of the primary care physician.
Lesperance MM, Schneider B, Garetz SL, Weatherly RA, Koopmann, Jr CF. Substituting a Telephone Call for Pediatric Adenotonsillectomy Postoperative Visits. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127(2):227-228. doi: