Setting: Databases: Book Citation Index–Science, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, Conference Proceedings Citation Index–Science, Embase, Google Scholar, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, The Cochrane Library, and Web of Science.
Synopsis: The overall meta-analysis of the 17 studies demonstrated that isolated tonsillectomy reduced AHI from a mean ± standard deviation of 40.5 ± 28.9 to 14.1 ± 17.1 events per hour, a 65.2% decrease. The random effects analysis demonstrated an AHI mean difference (MD) of -30.2 events per hour. The lowest oxygen saturation improved from 77.7 ± 11.9% to 85.5 ± 8.2%. The Epworth sleepiness scale decreased from 11.6 ± 3.7 to 6.1 ± 3.9 with an MD of 25.49. Treatment success varied with patients who were morbidly obese or had severe OSA. Posttonsillectomy success (decrease by ≥ 50% and a total AHI < 20 events per hour) was observed in 46 out of 54 patients. Posttonsillectomy AHI decreased by ≥ 50% and had a total < 15 events per hour or < 10 events per hour in 81.4% and 72.2%, respectively. Posttonsillectomy cure was observed in 31 out of 54 patients. Age, BMI < 30 kg/m2, preoperative AHI, and LSAT were all predictive of surgical cure. All 25 patients with preoperative AHI < 30 events per hour met the S20, S15, and S10 definitions for surgical success. Limitations included a lack of cohort studies or randomized/randomized-controlled studies, and that less than 25% of patients had individual data available for subanalysis.