Does laryngopharyngeal reflux affect healing and recovery after tonsillectomy?

Research paper by S S Elwany, Y A YA Nour, E A EA Magdy

Indexed on: 12 Jul '07Published on: 12 Jul '07Published in: The Journal of laryngology and otology


Laryngopharyngeal reflux is increasingly being implicated in several otolaryngological disorders.To study a potential correlation between pre-operative laryngopharyngeal reflux and wound healing and recovery after tonsillectomy, based on subjective and objective findings.A prospective, blinded study was undertaken, including 60 patients scheduled for tonsillectomy, divided into two equal groups: a study group (group A) with pre-operative laryngopharyngeal reflux documented using ambulatory 24-hour pH monitoring; and a control group (group B) without laryngopharyngeal reflux.Group A had significantly higher pain scores on the seventh and 14th post-operative days (p = 0.022 and p = 0.000, respectively) and took a significantly longer time to return to normal eating (p = 0.013), compared with group B. Group A also showed significantly slower healing on the seventh and 14th post-operative days, as estimated by assessing the grade of post-operative slough formation (p = 0.016 and p = 0.029, respectively). A significant correlation between the number of pharyngeal reflux episodes and the degree of post-operative slough was also found.Laryngopharyngeal reflux can significantly decrease wound healing following tonsillectomy. Therefore, pre-operative recognition and management of this condition is desirable in order to eliminate its negative post-operative effect.