MS & surgery risk research

Just read a research paper that has noticed a link between certain surgical procedures in childhood (under 20) and an increased risk of developing MS. Can not link to paper as then the post won’t publish but found it on MS-UK.

It suggests that people who have had their tonsils or appendix out could be up to 30% more likley to develop MS. Thought it was interesting and just wondered if anyone who is dx, has had one of these procedures in childhood?

I had my appendix out when i was 16…

Nope, should have had my tonsils out, and got as far as being admitted for the procedure, but never had it, as Mum had an argument with the surgeon, and brought me home!

Like most mums, she wanted to be sure she was doing the right thing, so double-checked with the surgeon: “Is this really necessary?”

He exploded: “Necessary? Of course it’s not NECESSARY! Take her home!”

Which she did.

Apart from that one near-miss, never had any surgical procedure for anything, before or after 20.


Hi Yes, I had my tonsils removed aged about 12 and my appendix removed aged about 14.

P.S. 30% increase in risk, in something that’s very unlikely anyway, doesn’t seem very significant.

So if the risk in the UK, as widely quoted, is 1 in 800, the risk if you’ve had certain surgery would rise to 1.3 in 800?

Doesn’t seem worth bothering about.


Had my tonsils out at the age of 10.

Shazzie xx

I still have my tonsils and appendix.

Which doesn’t prove much in the grand scheme of things! I am interested to know more about it, though.

I wonder if it actually says more about how our bodies were fighting infection, even back then. Tonsillitis and appendicitis?

[quote=“MrsH”] I wonder if it actually says more about how our bodies were fighting infection, even back then. Tonsillitis and appendicitis? [/quote] That’s an excellent point mrs H, had not thought about it that way

I had a very bad case of burst appendix when I was 19 and the consultant at the time said I may experience problems later in life. He didn’t say what but now it’s all clear. X

Hi Lisa,

I’m quite sure he didn’t mean you’d be at higher risk from MS! From what I can gather (going only by the key points quoted here), the increased risk is minute.

Plus, if it’s “new” research, I don’t know how long ago you were 19, but it’s unlikely your consultant would have been aware of any increased risk, if this observation has only just been announced.

I don’t know what “problems in later life” he might have been referring to, but it wouldn’t have been MS.


The link to the article is here if you would like to read for yourselves:

Thanks Tina for your response. I have always wondered what he meant but your right, it’s unlikely he was referring to MS. Interesting study nonetheless. X

That sounds good. Any thing but the same shit over again.

The spleen is an improtant part of our immune system - it’s involved in making sure we create new antibodies to infections we’ve not had before. I would guess that’s what the doctor was talking about. That’s my thought. It’d be better to take a real doctor’s word for it, though!