Impact of Diabetes Mellitus Following Tonsillectomy in Adults: A National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Analysis

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Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology


Objectives: To identify 30-day complication rates specific to patients with diabetes mellitus following tonsillectomy. Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database was used to identify patients undergoing tonsillectomy between 2005 and 2018. Patients were stratified into 3 cohorts: insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), and non-diabetes mellitus (NODM). Coarsened-exact-matching was utilized to account for baseline differences between cohorts. Outcomes studied included post-operate complications, prolonged hospitalization, and unplanned readmissions. Results: A total of 986 DM and 26 774 NODM patients were included, and the mean age of patients undergoing tonsillectomy was 29.5 ± 11.6 and 28.7 ± 11.0 years, respectively. The majority of patients were female (70.5% for both DM and NODM cohorts) and White/Caucasian (89.2% vs 89.3%). Among patients undergoing tonsillectomy, a greater proportion of DM patients experienced an operative time greater than or equal to the 75th percentile (35 minutes; 25.9% vs 22.8%, P = .024), overall morbidity (12.6% vs 5.4%, P < .001), pneumonia (0.6% vs 0.2%, P = .036), and reoperation (10.2% vs 3.5% P < .001) in comparison to NODM patients. In an analysis between IDDM (n = 379) and NIDDM (n = 211) patients, IDDM patients were at an increased risk for prolonged hospitalization (1.4% vs 0.0%, P = .045), pneumonia (5.2% vs 0.5%, P < .001), urinary tract infections (3.3% vs 0.3% P = .004), major complications (15.6% vs 7.7%, P = .002), minor complications (19.9% vs 8.2%, P < .001), and overall complications (10.0% vs 1.3%, P < .001). Conclusion: DM patients are at a heightened risk for complications following tonsillectomy. Standardized protocols, careful pre-operative planning, and stringent glycemic management may help optimize patient outcomes.

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