Effectiveness of postoperative follow-up telephone interviews for patients who underwent adenotonsillectomy: A retrospective study

Dwight T. Jones, Michelle J. Yoon, Greg Licameli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of follow-up telephone interviews and questionnaires after tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Design: Cohort study and retrospective review of the outcomes of patients whose follow-ups were conducted by telephone interview. Patients were contacted 2 to 4 weeks after surgery; responses were recorded on a standardized postoperative questionnaire. Setting: Tertiary pediatric hospital. Patients: A total of 2554 consecutive patients who had undergone tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, or both procedures and completed a follow-up telephone interview during the period of January 8, 2000, to September 23, 2004. Main Outcome Measures: Time to return to normal diet and activities, postoperative complications, pain management, postoperative visits, and caregiver's evaluation of the follow-up telephone survey. Results: A total of 2554 patient outcomes were reviewed. The mean patient age was 5.9 years. Follow-up contact occurred a mean of 24.1 days after surgery. Of the surgical procedures performed, there were 1957 adenotonsillectomies, 235 adenoidectomies, and 362 tonsillectomies. At the time of follow-up, 2.7% of the patients had undergone an additional surgical procedure to treat postoperative bleeding, 96.9% had resumed eating a normal diet, and 96.2% had resumed normal activities. Bleeding from the nose or mouth was reported to have occurred at some point during the recovery period in 12.8%. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, a mean pain peak of 6.7 was reported. For most patients, pain was highest on the second day after surgery. The percentage of patients who had temporary voice change was 62.7%, and 15.4% had a follow-up clinic visit. Regarding caregivers, 99.5% reported being given instructions for postoperative care, and 98.8% reported that they felt well prepared to care for their child at home. There were no adverse events reported from surgical intervention. Conclusions: Compared with our previous experience with scheduled postsurgical clinic follow-ups, telephone interviews and standardized postoperative questionnaires pose no additional risk to patients. Considerable cost reduction and patient convenience were realized with a reduction of patient visits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1091-1095
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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