Is Outpatient Suction Cautery Tonsillectomy Safe in a Community Hospital Setting?

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Tonsillectomy and adenotonsillectomy are frequently performed operations. They are typically done as a day-of-surgery admission with discharge on the first postoperative day. Five hundred consecutive tonsillectomies and adenotonsillectomies performed by the authors were retrospectively reviewed to determine if these procedures could safely be performed on an outpatient basis. Primary postoperative hemorrhage was found to be rare using the suction cautery technique. Secondary hemorrhage occurred most commonly on the sixth postoperative day and the overall postoperative bleed rate was 7%. Our conclusion was that suction cautery tonsillectomy and adenotonsillectomy were safe to perform on an outpatient basis.

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