Tonsillectomy Guidelines

Updated: Jan 04, 2022
  • Author: Amelia F Drake, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Guidelines Summary

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNS)

The 2011 update of guidelines developed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNS) provides evidence-based recommendations on the pre-, intra-, and postoperative care and management of children 1 to 18 years of age under consideration for tonsillectomy. [26]

The group's recommendations include, among others:

  1. Clinicians should recommend watchful waiting for recurrent throat infection if there have been < 7 episodes in the past year, < 5 episodes per year in the past 2 years, or < 3 episodes per year in the past 3 years.

  2. Clinicians should administer a single intraoperative dose of intravenous dexamethasone to children undergoing tonsillectomy.

  3. Clinicians should recommend ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or both for pain control after tonsillectomy.

  4. Clinicians should not administer or prescribe perioperative antibiotics to children undergoing tonsillectomy.

  5. Clinicians must not administer or prescribe codeine, or any medication containing codeine, after tonsillectomy in children younger than 12 years.