IT HAS been estimated that tonsillectomy is the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the United States.1 The opinion apparently exists among both the laity and a large number of men in the medical profession that tonsillectomy is a relatively safe minor procedure. Actually, however, it has been our experience and also the experience of others2 that the operation is not a minor surgical procedure, although it usually is not attended by any great rate of morbidity or mortality, if careful attention is given to detail. Certain details in the use of anesthesia, positioning, operative technic and immediate postoperative care become of prime importance when it is considered that pulmonary and other complications occur more frequently than we physicians should like to admit.
While the tonsillectomist is usually the first to deny the frequent occurrence of atelectasis, bronchopneumonia or pulmonary abscess following tonsillectomy, a study of the literature
STEELE CH, ANDERSON JR. TRACHEOBRONCHIAL ASPIRATION FOLLOWING TONSILLECTOMY WITH GENERAL ANESTHESIA. Arch Otolaryngol. 1950;51(5):699–706. doi:10.1001/archotol.1950.00700020724008
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