Adults suffering from frequent sore throats might find relief by having their tonsils removed: after undergoing tonsillectomy (surgical removal of the tonsils), people were found to have fewer cases of sore throat, fewer missed working days, and an improved quality of life. These are the results of a new study by Götz Senska and coauthors that analyzed the long-term effects of tonsillectomy based on patient surveys, recently published in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2015; 112: 849-55).
The study involved 114 adults who underwent tonsillectomy in 2004. They filled in several questionnaires, first before surgery and then again at 14 months and seven years after surgery, with questions about their sore throat incidences and their quality of life. Comparing their answers over time revealed that participants suffered a sore throat almost ten times a year prior to surgery but only about twice a year after it. Similarly, after tonsillectomy, the participants' doctor visits dropped from an average of about five times a year to less than once a year. Work absences due to illness also were reduced on average from more than eleven days per year to less than two after surgery. Importantly, the authors also show that the participants' quality of life–their general well-being, their social relationships, and their physical health–improved after surgery. Based on these results, the authors conclude that people with recurrent sore throats who undergo a tonsillectomy will experience long-term health improvements, require less medication, and have a higher life satisfaction.