Tonsillotomy

(also known as: intracapsullar tonsillectomy)

This is partial removal of the tonsils when there are specific indications.

These are:

  • Presence of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) or sleep disordered breathing
  • No recurrent / chronic tonsillitis
  • Preferred method for young children (>5years)

The operation is done under general anaesthesia.

The size of the tonsils is significantly reduced using radiofrequency Coblation, but the tonsillar capsule is not dissected from the muscles, so there is very limited risk of bleeding.

As the capsule of the tonsils is intact and the nerve endings are spared, there is no pain following tonsillotomy.

The patient can go home as early as 4 hours after surgery.

Warning should be given to the patient or the patient’s parents that the tonsillar remnants may cause recurrent tonsillitis in the future and a tonsillectomy may be necessary.

Tonsillotomy or re-surfacing of the tonsils with Coblation can be used for adults with tonsillar liths, that want to avoid tonsillectomy.