June 1991

The Effect of Steroid Therapy on Recovery From Tonsillectomy in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(6):649-652. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870180085016

• A prospective, randomized, double-blind study to determine the postoperative effects of steroids in tonsillectomy was performed on 25 children from 4 to 12 years of age. A single intravenous dose of dexamethasone or a placebo was administered at onset of surgery. Other preoperative and postoperative medications, including antibiotics, anesthesia, and surgical techniques were standardized as noted in this article. The ability to return to a full or semifull diet occurred on the third and fourth postoperative days, significantly sooner in the steroid-treated patients than in the control patients. By the fifth and sixth days, the control group were eating as well as those children who received steroids. No significant differences were observed in postoperative pain, nausea, emesis, fever, or in the need for postoperative pain medications. This preliminary article concludes that a single preoperative dose of steroid results in an earlier return to a normal (full) diet in children who had undergone tonsillectomy.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.1991; 117:649-652)