Comparison of Postoperative Pain in Children with Two Intracapsular Tonsillotomy Techniques and a Standard Tonsillectomy : Microdebrider and radiofrequency tonsillotomies versus standard tonsillectomies

Levente Deak, David Saxton, Keith Johnston, Palma Benedek, Gábor Katona


Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the duration and severity of postoperative pain for two different tonsillotomy techniques (radiofrequency [RF] and microdebrider [MD]) with the standard tonsillectomy. Methods: This non-randomised retrospective study, carried out from February 2011 to September 2012, investigated 128 children in two independent centres: Heim Pál Children’s Hospital in Budapest, Hungary, and Muscat Private Hospital in Muscat, Oman. Those undergoing conventional tonsillectomies acted as the control group. One centre tested the MD technique (n = 28) while the other centre tested the RF technique (n = 31). Results: The pain-free period after the tonsillotomies was similar between the two techniques and ranged up to three days. Other indicators of pain resolution, like the use of a single analgesic, reduced night-time waking and the time taken to resume a normal diet, were also similar for the two groups. However, patients benefited significantly from having a tonsillotomy rather than a tonsillectomy. Conclusion: The partial resectioning of tonsillar tissue using the MD and RF techniques showed promising outcomes for a better postoperative quality of life when compared to a traditional tonsillectomy. In this study, the results of both the MD and RF tonsillotomy methods were almost identical in terms of the duration of postoperative pain and recovery time.


Quality of Life; Postoperative Pain; Obstructive Sleep Apnoea; Tonsillotomy; Tonsillectomy.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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