B-ENT

Tonsillectomy compared to acute tonsillitis in children: a comparison study of societal costs

1.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, AZ Delta Roeselare, Belgium

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck surgery, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospitals Louvain, St. Rafaël, Louvain, Belgium

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery

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University of Hasselt, Faculty of Medicine, Campus Diepenbeek, Diepenbeek, Belgium

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Hasselt University, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, Diepenbeek, Belgium

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Ziekenhuis Oost Limburg, Genk, Belgium

B-ENT 2012; 8: 103-111
Read: 882 Downloads: 590 Published: 13 February 2020

Tonsillectomy compared to acute tonsillitis in children: a comparison study of societal cost. Introduction and aim: Tonsillectomy is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in children; its main indications are recurrent episodes of acute tonsillitis and adenotonsillar hypertrophy. The effectiveness of tonsillectomy for severe recurrent tonsillitis is generally accepted; however its socio-economic cost is less well investigated. This study aims to determine and compare the societal cost of a tonsillectomy and a severe throat infection.

Materials and methods: The costs for both tonsillectomy and severe throat infection were evaluated. Costs of the surgical procedure and hospital stay were calculated based on resource use and personnel input at the participating hospital. The cost of work-related disability for both treatments was measured based on a questionnaire filled in by 275 parents of children undergoing a tonsillectomy. Data from two Belgian institutions (NIS and FOD) were used to calculate the cost of parents’ absenteeism.

Results: An episode of acute tonsillitis in the child results in a longer period of parents’ work absenteeism (mean of 3.1 +/- 0.3 days) compared to tonsillectomy (2.2 +/- 0.2 days). The cost of economic productivity loss amounts to € 613 (NIS) or € 759 (FOD) for acute tonsillitis and € 435 (NIS) or € 539 (FOD) for a tonsillectomy. The medical costs linked to the surgical procedure at the local department correspond to € 535 and for an acute tonsillitis to € 46.

Conclusions: From societal perspective, a tonsillectomy costs the equivalent of 1.4 times the cost of a severe throat infection. This indicates that in children suffering from recurrent acute tonsillitis, watchful waiting results in a higher cost compared to tonsillectomy, given the cumulative costs of parents’ absenteeism.

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EISSN 2684-4907