Intraoperative intravenous ibuprofen use is not associated with increased post-tonsillectomy bleeding

Nikunj K. Patel, Sharan J. Shah, Nam K. Lee, Qi Gao, Veronica P. Carullo, Christina J. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: Intravenous (IV) ibuprofen was approved by the FDA for use in pediatric patients in November 2015. The objective of this study was to compare bleeding rates in pediatric tonsillectomy patients who received intraoperative intravenous ibuprofen versus those who did not. Secondary objectives included analyzing factors that correlated with return to the Emergency Department (ED) for pain or dehydration. Methods: Charts were reviewed for all patients 0–18 years of age who underwent a tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy at a tertiary care children's hospital from 1/1/2017 through 5/21/2018. Demographic information and perioperative medications including the use of intraoperative intravenous ibuprofen were recorded. ED visits and operating room (OR) returns for bleeding were tracked for up to 30 days after surgery. Results: 1085 charts were analyzed. Intraoperative IV ibuprofen was used in 132 cases (12.2%). Primary bleeds, defined as bleeding within 24 h of surgery, occurred in 1 (0.76%) of 132 patients who received IV ibuprofen, and 1 (0.10%) of 953 patients who did not receive IV ibuprofen. Secondary bleeds, defined as bleeds after 24 h from surgery occurred in 2 (1.52%) of 132 patients who received IV ibuprofen and 38 (3.99%) of 953 patients who did not receive IV ibuprofen. No statistical difference was found between the two groups in rates of overall (primary plus secondary) bleeding requiring return to ED (p = 0.759) or return to OR (p = 0.710). Conclusion: The observed bleeding rate after pediatric tonsillectomy was not statistically different in patients who received intraoperative IV ibuprofen versus those who did not receive this medication. Level of evidence: III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109965
JournalInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Jun 2020



  • Adenotonsillectomy
  • Ibuprofen
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage
  • Postoperative hemorrhage
  • Tonsillectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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