Frequent sore throats? Tonsil removal can offer relief

Adults suffering from frequent sore throats might find relief by having their tonsils surgically removed, new research has found.

In the study, people undergoing tonsillectomy (surgical removal of the tonsils) were found to have fewer cases of sore throat, fewer missed working days and an improved quality of life.

Gotz Senska from Marienhospital in Gelsenkirchen, Germany and co-authors analysed the long term effects of tonsillectomy based on patient surveys.

The study, published in the journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, involved 114 adults who underwent tonsillectomy in 2004.

They filled in several questionnaires, first before surgery and then again at 14 months and then seven years after surgery, with questions about their sore throat incidences and their quality of life.

Comparing their answers over time revealed that participants suffered a sore throat almost ten times a year prior to surgery but only about twice a year after it.

Similarly, after tonsillectomy, the participants’ doctor visits dropped from an average of about five times a year to less than once a year.

Work absences due to illness were also reduced on average from more than eleven days per year to less than two after surgery.

Importantly, the authors also showed that the participants’ quality of life – their general wellbeing, their social relationships and their physical health – improved after surgery.

Based on these results, the authors concluded that people with recurrent sore throats who undergo a tonsillectomy would experience long term health improvements, require less medication and have a higher life satisfaction.