Diathermy tonsillectomy: comparisons of morbidity following bipolar and monopolar microdissection needle excision.

  • Akkielah A
  • Kalan A
  • Kenyon G
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Tonsillectomy is frequently associated with a considerable post-operative morbidity. In some cases reactionary or secondary haemorrhage occurs and all patients suffer a degree of post-operative pain. The use of bipolar diathermy excision has become popular because it reduces intra-operative blood loss, but all diathermy inevitably produces a degree of damage to adjacent normal soft tissues. In turn this inadvertent injury must act to increase the post-operative pain. Monopolar dissection using a fine tungsten diathermy needle (the Colorado needle) allows sharp dissection at low power levels and in previous studies has been shown to produce a reduction in collateral tissue damage. In this prospective study the morbidity associated with tonsillectomy using this needle was compared to that following a standard bipolar dissection. Using the monopolar needle produced no enhanced risk of reactionary or secondary haemorrhage while causing significantly less post-operative pain and a reduction in eschar. We believe that excision using this needle preserves the advantages associated with bipolar dissection while reducing local soft tissue damage.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Electrocoagulation: instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Pain, Postoperative
  • Pain, Postoperative: prevention & control
  • Postoperative
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage: prevention & control
  • Postoperative: prevention & control
  • Preschool
  • Prospective Studies
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: etiology
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Tonsillectomy: methods

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  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-0030770518
  • SGR: 0030770518
  • PUI: 27394145
  • PMID: 9327011
  • ISBN: 0022-2151


  • A Akkielah

  • A Kalan

  • G S Kenyon

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