December 1977

Unnecessary Tonsillectomies

Arch Otolaryngol. 1977;103(12):743. doi:10.1001/archotol.1977.00780290079013

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To the Editor.—Many more tonsillectomies will be performed unnecessarily if the medical community adopts the practice of "Tonsillectomy a'Chaud." The often-quoted equation of "peritonsillar abscess = tonsillectomy" needs to be reevaluated for we have all followed up patients who have recovered from an abscess and who have not experienced complications or. further tonsillar problems—some have never had tonsillitis before. If tonsillectomy is indicated at all, why should the "normal" one be sacrificed? The uninvolved tonsil is not the pharyngeal equivalent of the appendix that is "incidentally" removed because it is there.

McCurdy (Archives 103:414-415, 1977) presents interesting data in a rather large military series. The economic savings that result from shortening the long hospital stays inherent in that system do not apply to those of us in private practice, most of whose patients go directly home after their I&D, or require an average one- or two-day hospital stay for a