Tonsillectomy better than ‘watchful waiting’ in adults

GPs should advise tonsillectomy over watchful waiting in adults with a history of streptococcal pharyngitis, suggests Finnish research.

For the study, 36 patients were randomly assigned to the tonsillectomy group and 34 were assigned to the waiting group.

After 90 days, 56 per cent of the control group had experienced acute episodes of pharyngitis compared with only 30 per cent of the tonsillectomy group.

Additionally, the mean number of days with fever was four times higher in the waiting group than in the tonsillectomy group.

The mean number of days with sore throat was also three and a half times higher in the waiting group than in the tonsillectomy group.

The researchers concluded that the surgical removal of palatine tonsils could prevent further episodes of group A streptococcal pharyngitis in adults with a history of recurrent episodes.

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