To assess taste function before and after tonsillectomy (TE).
Sixty-five patients (42 females, 23 males; mean age, 28 years).
Main Outcome Measures
Taste function was investigated before TE with 4 concentrations each of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter quality, respectively, on both sides of the anterior and posterior areas of the tongue. Self-assessment of gustatory function was performed by visual analogue scales. Thirty-two patients were retested 64 to 173 days after TE. Thirty-three patients could not be retested after TE but were interviewed by telephone.
Self-assessed taste function significantly decreased (P = .001). Yet, none of the subjects reported taste dysfunction. Tonsillectomy had no major effect on taste test scores (P > .27).
Persisting taste dysfunction seems to be rare after TE.