Routine histologic examination is unnecessary for tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy.

Randall DA, Martin PJ, Thompson LD.
Laryngoscope. 2007 Sep;117(9):1600-4
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the current practice and incurred cost of histologic examination of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy specimens is warranted.
STUDY DESIGN: Review article based on medical literature.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A retrospective PubMed review of all pertinent literature regarding tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and related surgical pathology was conducted. References of the articles obtained were reviewed for additional sources.
RESULTS: Twenty studies report 54,901 patients and found 54 malignancies (0.087% prevalence). Of these, 48 (88% of the patients) had suspicious features such as tonsillar asymmetry, cervical lymphadenopathy, or abnormal tonsil appearance, preoperatively. The remaining six patients without any suspicious features (better representing true occult malignancy) were 0.011% of the total cases.
CONCLUSION: Submission of tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, or both specimens is warranted only when patients demonstrate findings associated with malignancy: tonsillar asymmetry, history of cancer, neck mass, tonsil firmness or lesion, weight loss, and constitutional symptoms.
PubMed ID: 17762791
Article Size: <1 MB