In a journal for ear, nose, and throat doctors, new guidelines are about to be published for performing tonsillectomies on minors. The guidelines will include recommendations on how to care for patients in pre-op, intra-op, and post-op situations, and also include research on the complications that arise when different doctors approach this same surgery in different ways.

This is one of the most frequently performed surgeries in the United States – in fact, over 500,000 are performed each year, and that’s just among children aged 15 or younger.

What is a tonsillectomy? By definition it involves the removal of the entire tonsil (capsule included), by means of the separation of the tonsil from the muscular wall – this area is known as the peritonsillar space. In some cases the tonsillectomy will include an adenoidectomy – this is more common when the reason for the surgery is a problem with breathing during sleep.

These published guidelines are going to be very important resource for the doctors who perform approximately 530,000 of these surgeries each year. It is hoped this will result in an easier process for surgeons, allowing them to make wise decisions which will render favorable surgical outcomes for the many children afflicted by tonsil problems.

One of the main things the guidelines will accomplish is to make it easier for practitioners to better determine when a tonsillectomy is the best way to proceed. They are also intended to help healthcare staff to manage the care of children undergoing a tonsillectomy more effectively.

The guidelines also encourage proper counseling for families of children undergoing such medical procedures, as they can be frightening especially for very young children. It will also cut back on the discrepancies between different practitioners who are treating patients with similar problems. It will also provide caregivers with alternative treatments for situations that do not require surgery.