Taste Dysfunction after Tonsillectomy: A Meta-analysis

Boo Young Kim, So Jeong Lee, Ju Hyun Yun, Jung Ho Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: We aimed to provide information on the effects of tonsillectomy, in particular, its effects on taste dysfunction; also known as dysgeusia, and provide direction for future research in this area. Methods: We independently searched five databases (PubMed, SCOPUS, Embase, the Web of Science, and the Cochrane database) for related studies published as recently as December 2019. From the included studies, we reviewed the findings on tonsillectomy and taste disturbance through the use of a questionnaire, chemogustometry, and electrogustometry. We analyzed other conditions that were measured in these studies that included; postoperative pain intensity and other morbidities (eg, postoperative bleeding, hemostasis, tongue numbness and zinc, copper, and iron hemoglobin levels measured). Results: Postoperative taste disturbance based on questionnaire (VAS) scores at 14 days (SMD = −0.31 [−0.50, −0.12], P value =.0012) tended to decrease significantly in the post-tonsillectomy group compared to the pre-tonsillectomy group. Patients showed significantly decreased taste sensation after tonsillectomy than in the preoperative test. Postoperative electrogusmetry at 7 days (SMD = 0.60 [0.27, 0.94], P =.0004) tended to increase significantly in the post-tonsillectomy group compared to the pre-tonsillectomy group. Conclusion: Tonsillectomy is a commonly performed surgery, and taste disturbance occurs frequently as a post operative effect. Taste dysfunction is important to patients with regard to their quality of life and the overall effects of taste on their day-to-day life. This study can be a useful meta-analysis of dysgeusia in tonsillectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • dysgeusia
  • electrogustometry
  • sensitivity
  • taste
  • threshold
  • tonsillectomy


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