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INDICATIONS FOR TONSILLECTOMY IN INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD. IS THE MODERN TENDENCY TOWARD UNIVERSAL TONSILLECTOMY JUSTIFIED?

HENRY HEIMAN, M.D.
Am J Dis Child. 1922;24(3):204-210. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1922.04120090027005.
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During the past few years there has been engendered in the minds of medical men an unbounded spirit of antagonism toward the faucial tonsils. The pendulum has been swinging toward extreme radicalism. The tonsils have been held responsible for almost every disease of childhood. As portals of entry and foci of infection they have been accused of producing every form of pathologic condition. The obsession has spread to the laity who are now, with or without medical advice, demanding the complete removal of the tonsils as a routine hygienic measure.

Last year the medical school inspectors of New York City recommended tonsil treatment for 49,230 children. If the problem were extended to the whole country it would undoubtedly include more than a million children.

Tonsillectomy is quite a major operation. Its risks are very definite. Numerous serious complications have been reported. A large number have not been reported. The indiscriminate

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