Recent reports have associated an increased incidence of bleeding after tonsillectomy with the perioperative use of ketorolac tromethamine. To review this association, we examined the hospital and office records of 310 pediatric patients who underwent tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy at our institution during a 2-year period. Of these patients, 213 received ketorolac administered as a single dose at the conclusion of the procedure. The remaining 97 patients did not receive ketorolac. The frequency of postoperative hemorrhage was not found to differ significantly between these 2 groups (2.3% vs. 3.1% respectively, P = 0.71). Furthermore, the average time to discharge after surgery was significantly shorter in those patients who received ketorolac than in those who did not (8.5 hours vs. 12.5 hours, respectively, P < 0.0001). The frequency of overnight hospital stays was also significantly lower in those patients who received ketorolac (16.0% vs. 31.6%, respectively, P < 0.01). Concern over the potential for increased hemorrhage after tonsillectomy has led several authors to caution against the use of ketorolac in this setting. In our study, however, the use of ketorolac was not found to increase the incidence of posttonsillectomy hemorrhage and furthermore was associated with a significant decrease in the length of hospital stay as well as a decreased likelihood of overnight hospital stay after surgery.
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