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No association between obesity and post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 May 2014

H Riechelmann*
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria
E C Blassnigg
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria
C Profanter
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria
K Greier
College of Education Edith Stein, Stams, Austria
F Kral
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria
B Bender
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria
Address for correspondence: Dr H Riechelmann, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University Innsbruck, Anichstr. 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria E-mail:



The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing worldwide. The impact of overweight on post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage rates in children and adults is unclear.


Body mass index and post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage were evaluated in all patients treated with tonsillectomy within one year in a tertiary referral centre. Bleeding episodes were categorised according to the Austrian Tonsil Study.


Between June 2011 and June 2012, 300 adults and children underwent tonsillectomy. Post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage occurred in 55 patients. Of those, 29 were type A (history of blood in saliva only, no active bleeding), 15 were type B (active bleeding, treatment under local anaesthesia) and 11 were type C (active bleeding, treatment under general anaesthesia). The return to operating theatre rate was 3.7 per cent. Post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage was more frequent in adolescents and adults than in children. Overweight or obesity was positively correlated with age. Post-tonsillectomy bleeding was recorded in 11.1 per cent of underweight patients, 18.9 per cent of normal weight patients and 18.7 per cent of overweight patients (p = 0.7). Data stratification (according to age and weight) did not alter the post-tonsillectomy bleeding risk (p = 0.8).


Overweight or obesity did not increase the risk of post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage in either children or adults.

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Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2014 

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