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Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7299


PILTCHER, Otávio Bejzman  and  SCARTON, Fabiana Bortoncello. Antibiotic use in tonsillectomies: therapeutic or prophylactic? Required or excessive?. Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol. [online]. 2005, vol.71, n.5, pp.686-690. ISSN 0034-7299.

Adenotonsillectomy is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the pediatric and young adult populations. The postoperative morbidity of this surgical procedure is often significant, including odynophagia, dysphagia, fever, halitosis, loss of weight and reduced oral intake. After tonsillectomy, with or without adenoidectomy, the colonization of the open tonsillar fossae by the bacterial population of the oral cavity would cause an exacerbation of the local inflammatory response worsening postoperative pain. The hypothesis that a reduction of the bacterial population of an open surgical wound could minimize the local inflammation, stimulate the healing process and hasten recovery triggered a considerable number of studies addressing the relation between the use of perioperative antibiotics and postoperative morbidity of adenotonsillectomy. In spite of the fact that those studies claim to perform an assessment of the surgical prophylactic use of antibiotics, their outline is not in compliance with the worldwide-accepted principles of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis. By performing a critical review of the literature, the authors discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using antibiotics in tonsillectomies or adenotonsillectomies, as well as the most appropriate definition for its utilization.

Keywords : antibiotics; tonsillectomies; prophylaxis; post-operative morbidity.

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