DOI: 10.1016/j.wjorl.2021.03.003; PMCID: PMC8356117
Tonsillectomy with and without adenoidectomy is a frequently performed surgical procedure in children. Although a common procedure, it is not without significant risk. It is critical for anesthesiologists to consider preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative patient factors and events to optimize safety, especially in young children. In the majority of cases, the indication for adenotonsillectomy in young children is obstructive breathing. Preoperative evaluation for patient comorbidities, especially obstructive sleep apnea, risk factors for a difficult airway, and history of recent illness are crucial to prepare the patient for surgery and develop an anesthetic plan. Communication and collaboration with the otolaryngologist is key to prevent and treat intraoperative events such as airway fires or hemorrhage. Postoperative analgesia planning is critical for safe pain control especially for those patients with a history of obstructive sleep apnea and opioid sensitivity. In young children, it is important to also consider the impact of anesthetic medications on the developing brain. This is an area of continuing research but needs to be weighed when planning for surgical treatment and when discussing risks and benefits with patients' families.
World J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg
Anesthesia for adenotonsillectomy; Anesthesia in young children; Anesthesia safety
McGuire SR, Doyle NM. Update on the safety of anesthesia in young children presenting for adenotonsillectomy. World J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2021;7(3):179-185. Published 2021 July. doi:10.1016/j.wjorl.2021.03.003