The Newsroom • Published Wednesday, Jul. 19, 2006, 2:16 PM
Tonsillectomies used to be routine
Enid News & Eagle (Internet / Print) 07/19/06 It was scary, but also a bit exciting. My parents had become tired of nursing my persistent sore throats and took me to the doctor. Doc took one look and said my tonsils had to come out. I would have to go to the hospital, my mom explained, and spend a night or two. The doctor would put me to sleep, then would take out my tonsils and my troubles would be over. It would be fine. In the 1980s, doctors began rethinking yanking out a child’s tonsils because of persistent sore throats. In 1959 there were 1.4 million tonsillectomies, compared to 260,000 by 1987. For those of my generation, having your tonsils out was as routine as having fillings in your teeth. Or, at least, it was perceived as such. What was overlooked was this was not minor surgery. According to a report by physicians from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the mortality rate for tonsillectomies is one in 16,000 to 35,000.