Procedure, Advantages & Recovery Period For a Laser Tonsillectomy

Submitted by Nic on December 11, 2013

Tonsillitis affects both children and adults and is usually associated with problems such as enlarged tonsils, painful tonsil stones, snoring problems, sleep apnea and chronic infections. Until recently the popular treatment for recurring tonsillitis was a tonsillectomy or the surgical removal of the tonsils.

Traditional tonsillectomy surgery is performed under general anesthesia and the surgeon uses a scalpel to remove the tonsils. Risks associated with such a procedure include scarring, bleeding, pain and infections.

The recovery period for a traditional tonsillectomy can stretch up to two weeks depending on how diligent the patient is in terms of after-care.

The latest medical technique used by surgeons and ENT specialist to treat issues such as chronic tonsillitis, sleep apnea, severe haiitosis, and tonsil stones is a procedure known as laser tonsillectomy. Using medical grade CO2 lasers, your surgeon can now laser off the affected tonsils without the use of a scalpel. This reduces the possibility of scarring or bleeding and decreases the risk of infection as well.

A laser tonsillectomy can be carried out in the doctor’s clinic using only local anesthesia and can be completed within 20 to 30 minutes from start to finish. After the procedure, the patient is free to leave the clinic immediately and can even drive himself home as no general anesthesia is used. The pain associated with traditional tonsil surgery is also absent with a laser tonsillectomy. Since the surgeon uses the laser from top down, no longer is muscle tissue removed along with the tonsils, as is the case in a normal tonsillectomy. This significantly reduces inflammation and scarring as a result as well as reduces the risk of infection.

Other advantages of a laser tonsillectomy include

  • A speedier recovery period with minimum soreness and pain
  • No need to visit a hospital
  • Local anesthesia is usually preferred over general anesthesia due to the complications and risks involved with general anesthesia
  • Can resume work or school the day after the procedure
  • Can resume a normal diet within a day after the surgery
  • No need for post-operative medications
  • Lower risks of post-operative bleeding or oral hemorrhaging
  • After care is simpler and easier to follow
  • The surgery may be eligible for insurance under several schemes. Speak to your medical insurance company to find out more.

Laser tonsillectomies are now becoming a popular treatment option among adult patients. However, ENT surgeons are still cautious about using the procedure on young children, as many younger patients do not respond well to local anesthesia and being awake during such a procedure.

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