To compare postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting, and bleeding between intravascular dexamethasone injection group and control group among children undergoing powered intracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (PITA).
Retrospective review of medical records was performed for pediatric patients who underwent PITA from March 1, 2017, to February 28, 2021, at a tertiary referral medical center in South Korea. Postoperative pain and nausea were measured using the visual analogue scale (VAS) from the postoperative day (POD) 0 to POD 6. The number of analgesics administered and the number of vomiting episodes were recorded in the same period. The repeatedly measured parameters were statistically analyzed between the dexamethasone group and control group.
A total of 71 children with complete questionnaires including 44 boys and 27 girls were included, and the mean age was 7.49 ± 2.44 years. There were 33 patients in the dexamethasone group and 38 in the control group. Postoperative pain (p = 0.169) or nausea (p = 0.460) on the VAS showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups. Postoperative analgesics showed no difference between the groups (p = 0.398), and neither did postoperative vomiting (p = 0.270). In both groups, no child showed signs of postoperative bleeding.
This study indicates that the beneficial effects of intravascular dexamethasone administration in PITA may not be evident. This might be due to the superior outcome of the PITA technique compared to total extracapsular tonsillectomy. Therefore, otolaryngologists performing PITA may not necessarily need to administer dexamethasone in children before surgery.

Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.