[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 14, 1983

Pediatric Otolaryngology

Author Affiliations

University of Virginia School of Medicine Charlottesville

JAMA. 1983;250(14):1908. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340140078042

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Most pediatricians consider themselves the champions of children and generally believe that supportive care, medication, and time will solve most of their patients' problems. Most surgeons recognize that an operation is a serious, sometimes risky endeavor, but it is frequently the most effective, expeditious method of helping a sick patient. This difference in philosophy is brought into sharp focus in the treatment of tonsillitis.— When is it acute and properly managed with (or without) medication? When does it become chronic? Should the tonsils ever be removed? For many years, physicians have noted great improvement in general health when children with chronically infected, obstructing tonsils undergo tonsillectomies. With the availability of antibiotics, too many tonsillectomies were still performed, sometimes for questionable indications.

Since 1970, there has been a dramatic decrease by more than half in the number of tonsillectomies being done in the United States, with no apparent ill effect on