Recovery from long-lasting post-tonsillectomy dysgeusia

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Transient post-tonsillectomy taste dysgeusia (PTD) is a common complaint. Long-lasting PTD is less frequent but has significant consequences on patients' quality of life, with some cases leading to medicolegal issues. Treatment options and knowledge about mechanisms and factors favoring PTD are limited. PTD may result from direct surgical injury, tongue compression, inflammatory processes or side effects of local anesthetics. Some authors also claim that dietary zinc deficiency plays a role in the development of PTD. Although this latter cause had not yet received a lot of attention, we report a case of a female patient who reported a 4-year PTD and recovered within 2 months after oral intake of zinc sulfate. This clinical observation, together with recent findings on significant improvement of taste disorders after zinc treatments for other causes, opens again the question of what extent zinc deficiency plays a role in PTD.

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