I came across an article about Miley Cyrus's little brother today. Apparently, her brother, Braison, almost bled to death after a tonsillectomy. I shook my head while reading the article because it is the same story I've heard over, and over, and over again.
Bleeding after a tonsillectomy (hemorrhaging) is not a common complication. Though exact numbers are hard to track it occurs in about 1-3% of cases, according to available sources. The thing is, even though it's not a common complication, it is extremely serious. A few years back I wrote a blog about this, after some of the surgeons I worked with told us to stop telling their patients to go to the emergency room if they noticed bright red blood coming from their tonsil beds. I refused to do this, as in my opinion it is extremely dangerous. Since writing that blog, hundreds of people have written me to tell me their stories, almost all of them experienced serious bleeding after a tonsillectomy and some of them lost their children after they had tonsillectomies. As in the case of the Cyrus family, some of their doctors did not take their concerns seriously.
Most doctor's are good, and this is a common surgery that people undergo without problems every day in the U.S., but if you are considering a tonsillectomy I urge you to learn about the signs of post-operative bleeding and to ask your surgeon about this complication before proceeding. For more information read:
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