CenTrial Logo

Immediate Tonsillectomy vs. Conservative Treatment for Recurrent Acute Tonsillitis


Clinical trial shows immediate tonsillectomy is the best choice for adults

Dealing with recurring acute tonsillitis can be distressing for adults. The decision between immediate tonsil removal (tonsillectomy) and conservative management has long been a subject of debate. A comprehensive clinical trial conducted across several UK hospitals sought to provide clarity on this matter. 

Clinical trial

The trial involved adults, 16 years and older, experiencing recurrent acute tonsillitis, comparing the outcomes of immediate tonsil removal against standard non-surgical care over 24 months.


Researchers randomly assigned 453 participants to either undergo immediate tonsillectomy within eight weeks of selection or receive ongoing non-surgical management throughout the trial. The primary focus was to assess the number of days individuals in each group experienced a sore throat.


The findings revealed noteworthy insights. Over the 24-month duration, those who underwent immediate tonsillectomy reported significantly fewer days of sore throat compared to those under conservative management. The median sore throat days for the tonsillectomy group were 23 days, whereas the conservative management group reported 30 days. Even after accounting for location and initial severity, the difference remained consistent.


Further analysis indicated that the immediate tonsillectomy group had a notably lower frequency of sore throat days than the conservative management group. This implies that choosing to undergo tonsillectomy led to a substantial reduction in the frequency and duration of sore throat episodes among these individuals.

Are you interested in clinical trials near you?

You can receive free notification of a trial for this, or any other condition, by completing a short confidential health profile.
Find a clinical trial near me


While immediate tonsillectomy demonstrated clinical effectiveness, it's important to note the adverse events linked to the procedure. Approximately 39% of participants who underwent tonsillectomy experienced adverse events, with bleeding being the most common (reported in 19% of participants). However, no fatalities occurred during the trial period.


In a broader context, this trial suggests that immediate tonsillectomy not only proves to be clinically effective but also emerges as a cost-effective option for adults grappling with recurrent acute tonsillitis. It indicates that choosing surgical intervention could notably improve the quality of life by decreasing the frequency and duration of sore throat episodes.


This comprehensive clinical trial provides compelling evidence supporting immediate tonsillectomy as an effective and cost-efficient option for adults facing recurrent acute tonsillitis. This valuable information could guide medical professionals and patients in making informed decisions regarding the management of this condition.


Individuals must have thorough discussions with their healthcare providers before making decisions. Each case is unique, and personalized medical advice is fundamental in determining the most suitable approach.


The Lancet, May-17-23

Share this article with a friend:

Get emailed clinical trial results in the categories of your choice:
Free subscription to clinical trial results

Without participants there can be no clinical trials.
Without clinical trials there will be no new treatments.
Signup and be matched to trials near you
This free service will notify you of current and future clinical trial matches.

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.