More than 88% of surgeries to remove children’s tonsils are unnecessary according to new research – with experts warning the procedure could do more harm than good.
According to researchers about 37,000 tonsillectomies were performed on children in England by the NHS between April 2016 and March 2017 – carrying a bill of £42m.
However the new study – based on an analysis of more than a decade of records from a large group of GP surgeries – reveals that the vast majority of children undergoing such a procedure either on the NHS or privately did not appear to need it.
What’s more thousands of children who would have met the requirements to have their tonsils out have not had the operation.
‘If your child is very severely affected there is a modest benefit [to having the operation] but the bottom line is that even the most severely affected children don’t always have their tonsils out and they seem to grow out of [sore throats] – it doesn’t lead to any long-term problems’ said Tom Marshall – professor of public health and primary care at the University of Birmingham and a co-author of the research.