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1339997 tn?1276345377
Tonsillectomy hemorrhage
How common is a hemorrhage after a tonsillectomy? My 17 year old had his tonsils removed and a week later he nearly bled to death & required transfusions for 2 days. It was the scariest thing... I never saw so much blood, how can a scab bleed that much? It's been 2 weeks and his Hemoglobin is still only 8.
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1337001 tn?1276887441

Hi,

Even though tonsillectomy appears to be a simple surgery, it has the capacity to cause torrential bleeding post surgery.
Bleeding is classified into three categories:
1. Primary hemorrhage - occurs during the surgery
2. Reactionary hemorrhage - occurs within 24 hours following surgery
3. Secondary hemorrhage - occurs within 7-10 days following surgery

Your son had secondary hemorrhage, the cause attributed to premature separation of the slough from the tonsillar fossa or due to infections. It is indeed uncommon to have secondary bleeding in this era of antibiotics.

For more information you can refer the following link:
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Incidence+of+post-tonsillectomy+hemorrhage+in+children+and+adults:+a...-a092281736

Regards
OHNS2010
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1339997 tn?1276345377
Thanks for the information :-)
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1061534 tn?1276705661
The rate of post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage varies in the literature (generally) from between 2 and 5%.  Very few cases are as serious as the one you described.
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1339997 tn?1276345377
Thank you. It was surely unexpected. He couldn't talk before he went back into surgery to be recauterized & could talk immediately after the incident. Recovery the 2nd time was much easier.
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Hi. Sorry to hear about your son's problem. Is he recovering well now? In addition to the information provided by the doctors here, I was thinking may be you could find out if he has any bleeding disorder. Look out for what is know as the von Willbrand's disease. But I may be wrong, as the excess bleeding could have occured during surgery if it was due to a bleeding disorder.

Also research says that "O" type blood group is more associated with this type of bleeding. As OHNS2010 has said, this looks like the secondary post operative bleeding. Please ask the treating doctors about any infections.

Hope your son recovers soon. God bless him.
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1339997 tn?1276345377
He does have O- blood. (didn't know that 'till he needed it) he's recovering well now..just tired from the anemia. His ENT said, what he had to recauterize was small, then they pumped all the blood out of his stomach so he wouldn't get sick when he woke up. He gets a blood count drawn on July 2, hopefully he's making the climb back, although the docs said it would be 6 months till he was back to "normal".
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My Daughter had her tonsils removed on August 6th. On August 16 she started bleeding and they brought her back in for a second surgery. On August 23rd she started bleeding yet again. This time the bleeding was much worse. They suctioned out 1/2 cup of clots out of her throat and was brought into surgery for a 3rd time. She was tested for Von Willebrands which was negative. That same evening she bled again and was brought in for a 4th surgery. I was told by the Dr. That she had 2 arterial bleeds. I am very concerned because they said if it happens again, they would transfer her to Stanford to have the arteries blocked. She is only 12 years old, is this normal?
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