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Differences in pain and nausea in children operated on by Tonsillectomy or Tonsillotomy – a prospective follow-up study

Authors

  • Ulrica Ahlstav Mårtensson,

    1. Ulrica Ahlstav Mårtensson MSc RN
      Registered Nurse Childrens Health/ICU
      Department of Childrens Health, Halmstad Hospital, Halmstad, Sweden
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  • Nann Erling Hasselqvist,

    1. Nann Erling Hasselqvist MSc RN
      Registered Nurse Childrens Health/ICU
      Department of Intensive Care/PACU, Halmstad Hospital, Halmstad, Sweden
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  • Barbro Boström

    1. Barbro Boström PhD RN
      Supervisor, Senior Lector of University School of Social and Health Science, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden
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U. Ahlstav Mårtensson: e-mail: martensson.ulrica@bredband.net

Abstract

Ahlstav Mårtensson U., Erling Hasselqvist N. & Boström B. (2013) Differences in pain and nausea in children operated on by Tonsillectomy or Tonsillotomy – a prospective follow-up study. Journal of Advanced Nursing69(4), 782–792. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06060.x

Abstract

Aim.  To evaluate the differences in postoperative pain, nausea and time of discharge in children 3–12 years old after Tonsillectomy or Tonsillotomy at the postanaesthetic care unit, children’s ward and at home.

Background.  Tonsillectomy involves risk of bleeding, severe postoperative pain and nausea. Tonsillotomy is a less invasive method with lower risk of bleeding, postoperative pain and nausea according to previous studies.

Design.  A prospective, comparative follow-up study design.

Method.  From December 2008–April 2009 following parental agreement, 87 children in the ages 3–12 undergoing Tonsillectomy or Tonsillotomy participated. Visual analogue scale was used for children’s pain and nausea reports.

Result.  Significantly, fewer children operated on by the Tonsillotomy reported postoperative pain ≥ 3 according to the visual analogue scale than children operated on by the Tonsillectomy at the postanaesthetic care unit and the children’s ward. A statistically significant difference of postoperative nausea was only present during the care at the postanaesthetic care unit and children’s ward with fewer Tonsillotomy children reporting nausea ≥ 3. The time of postoperative care was shorter among the Tonsillotomy children in both the postanaesthetic care unit and the children’s ward. Postoperative pain and pain related difficulties in eating after discharge was significantly more present among the Tonsillectomy children compared with the Tonsillotomy children.

Conclusion.  The results of our study showed duration of postoperative pain and nausea in both groups, but indicated that Tonsillotomy is a more favourable alternative than Tonsillectomy in children.

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