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Why do kids tend to recover much faster after tonsillectomy than adults?

ANSWER

Kids only need a week to heal, while adults need about two. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Children typically heal faster than adults.
  • Children are less likely to have bleeding problems after their tonsils are removed.
  • Adults tend to have more pain after surgery. This may be because adults try to do too much too soon after surgery. They may not follow the rest and recovery instructions as a parent would make a child.

From: Can an Adult Need a Tonsillectomy? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery: "Tonsillectomy and Adenoids PostOp," "Tonsillitis."

CMAJ: "Short-term outcomes of tonsillectomy in adult patients with recurrent pharyngitis: a randomized controlled trial."

Cochrane: "Surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) for chronic or recurrent acute tonsillitis."

Johns Hopkins Children's Center: "Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy."

News release, JAMA.

Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery : "Adult tonsillectomy: current indications and outcomes,"  "Prevalence of complications from adult tonsillectomy and impact on health care expenditures."

Specialty Surgical Center: "Adult Vs. Pediatric Tonsillectomy."

UpToDate: "Tonsillectomy in adults: Indications."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on December 16, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery: "Tonsillectomy and Adenoids PostOp," "Tonsillitis."

CMAJ: "Short-term outcomes of tonsillectomy in adult patients with recurrent pharyngitis: a randomized controlled trial."

Cochrane: "Surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) for chronic or recurrent acute tonsillitis."

Johns Hopkins Children's Center: "Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy."

News release, JAMA.

Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery : "Adult tonsillectomy: current indications and outcomes,"  "Prevalence of complications from adult tonsillectomy and impact on health care expenditures."

Specialty Surgical Center: "Adult Vs. Pediatric Tonsillectomy."

UpToDate: "Tonsillectomy in adults: Indications."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on December 16, 2018

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How can you recover better after tonsillectomy?

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