Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Apr 23:194599819844791. doi: 10.1177/0194599819844791. [Epub ahead of print]
1. 1 Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.
2. 2 Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children’s Health, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA.
To report nationwide estimates of ambulatory tonsillectomies performed in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers in the United States.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS:
We analyzed the 2010 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey of hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers for pediatric patients undergoing tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy. We determined estimations of the number of procedures, demographics, and outcomes. A tonsillectomy cohort from the 2009 National Inpatient Sample served as a comparison group.
In 2010, there were an estimated 339,000 (95% CI, 288,000-391,000) ambulatory tonsillectomies in the United States. The mean age was 7.8 years (SD, 5.1), and 71,000 (21.0%) were <3 years old. The male:female ratio was even (51% vs 49%). The racial makeup mirrored the US census (69% white, 18% Hispanic, and 12% black). Obstructive sleep-disordered breathing was reported in 48%. Perioperative events such as apnea, hypoxia, or bleeding occurred 7.8% of the time. Approximately 9% of patients could not be discharged home. When compared with cases of inpatient tonsillectomies, ambulatory cases comprised older patients (7.8 vs 5.9 years, P < .001) and were less likely to include obstructive sleep-disordered breathing (48% vs 77%, P < .001).
Tonsillectomy was one of the most common ambulatory surgical procedures in 2010 in the United States. The majority of patients were low risk, but some at higher risk were included (age ≤3 years and obstructive sleep apnea). The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey estimates provide useful baseline data for future research on quality measures and outcomes.