Tonsillectomy is by far the most frequent operation undertaken in this country.1 Yet there is a surprising lack of agreement as to the proper indications for the procedure.
Most often, probably, the decision as to whether tonsils need to be removed or not is based on the results of inspection of the throat and palpation of the neck. In hospital and dispensary practice such comments as the following often appear on the charts of patients: "Tonsils not infected, tonsillectomy not indicated," or "Badly infected tonsils, tonsillectomy urgently needed," etc. Conversation usually reveals that the conception of "infected tonsils" referred to in such comments is approximately that described by Newkirk2 in his discussion of the indications for tonsillectomy:
A large tonsil usually contains infection and every effort should be made to find that infection. It is our custom to consider one or two points in the local
RHOADS PS. PATHOLOGIC CHANGES IN THE TONSILS: THEIR RELATION TO THE USUAL INDICATIONS FOR TONSILLECTOMY. Arch Otolaryngol. 1932;15(4):599–609. doi:10.1001/archotol.1932.03570030618011
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: