Study examines association of smoking with hemorrhage after throat surgery

August 18, 2008

Smoking appears to be associated with an increased rate of hemorrhage (bleeding) in patients who undergo uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP, a surgical procedure used to remove excess tissue from the throat) with tonsillectomy (a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed), but not in those who undergo tonsillectomy alone, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Otolaryngology−Head & Neck Surgery.

Although indications for tonsillectomy have changed over the years, it remains a common surgical procedure with a substantial risk for complications, the greatest of which is post-operative hemorrhage, according to background information in the article.

Sean M. Demars, M.D., then of Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash., and now of Bassett Army Community Hospital, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and colleagues evaluated the rate of post-operative bleeding in 1,010 tonsillectomy patients from 2000 to 2005. Age, sex and smoking status were also noted.

The total bleeding rate for all patients was 6.7 percent. When divided into smokers and non-smokers, the bleeding rate for patients was 10.2 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. The large difference was found "to be attributable to a marked increase in post-operative hemorrhage in the patients who underwent UPPP [10.9 percent in smokers vs. 3.3 percent in non-smokers]," the authors write. In addition, "men who underwent tonsillectomy alone bled significantly more than women (11.2 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively)."

Awareness of the association between smoking and post-operative hemorrhage "may help clinicians further counsel their patients before surgery," the authors conclude. "Further investigation of this relationship is needed, with stratification of patients by the number of cigarettes smoked and attention to the length of time before and/or after surgery that patients refrain from smoking."

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Adult tonsillectomy complications and health care expenses

Related Stories

Adult tonsillectomy complications and health care expenses

April 1, 2014
A study released today of 36,210 adult tonsillectomy patients finds that 20 percent will have a complication, offering valuable new insights to a decades long discussion. The study, featured in the April 2014 issue of Otolaryngology—Head ...

Child's case raises questions about tonsillectomies to treat sleep apnea

December 23, 2013
Tonsillectomies fell out of favor in the 1980s, but the procedure has become more common again to treat a new diagnosis - sleep apnea, a breathing disorder - but not without controversy. And the surgery is sure to attract ...

Pre-op steroids to prevent nausea do not significantly increase post-op bleeding

September 25, 2012
Tonsillectomy is exceedingly common, with a reported increase in tonsillectomy rates in children younger than 15 years from 287,000 to 530,000 per year over the past decade. Although safe, adenotonsillectomy can result in ...

Recommended for you

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.