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December 1986

Control of Bleeding After Tonsillectomy and Palatopharyngoplasty

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1986;112(12):1302. doi:10.1001/archotol.1986.03780120066018

To the Editor.—I should like to comment on the article by Telian et al1 that appeared in the June 1986 issue of the Archives on the effect of antibiotic therapy on recovery after tonsillectomy in children.

The report is well done and demonstrates a number of points that the authors did not address as their primary goal. The first point that I think deserves attention is that a postoperative bleeding incidence of at least 3% occurred in a well-controlled study in a major medical center with experienced, competent surgeons. Since the surgical technique included control of bleeding by cautery suction, this is not surprising: a number of studies have documented the fact that immediate and delayed bleeding does occur using this method. In their reference list, the authors cite a 1952 article by Emerson2 that describes a method of tonsillectomy designed to reduce postoperative bleeding. Yet, in