Can Probiotic Gargles Reduce Post-Tonsillectomy Morbidity in Adult Patients? A Pilot, Triple-Blinded, Randomised Controlled Trial and Feasibility Study

Michael V. Nasserallah, Nalaka M. De Silva, Vicky Tobin, Warren M. Rozen, David J. Hunter-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: We aimed to determine the efficacy of probiotic gargles compared to placebo gargles on reducing post-tonsillectomy morbidity in adults. Design: A randomised, triple-blind, randomised controlled trial and feasibility study. Methodology: Thirty adults underwent elective tonsillectomy and were randomly assigned to receive either probiotic or placebo gargles for 14 days after surgery. Daily pain scores and requirement of analgesia were measured for 14 days postoperatively. Secondary outcomes assessed probiotic safety and tolerability and the feasibility of the trial. Results: The probiotic group experienced less pain at rest on day 2. However, the amount of oxycodone (5mg) tablets used was greater in the probiotic group compared to placebo. There were no statistically significant differences in the frequency of adverse effects between both groups. This trial was feasible. Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that probiotic gargles do not reduce post-tonsillectomy pain or bleeding, highlighting the importance of pilot and feasibility studies in clinical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-341
Number of pages19
JournalThe Journal of Laryngology & Otology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Analgesia
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Hemorrhage
  • Microbiota
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Probiotics
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Tonsillectomy

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