Background: Increased post-operative tonsillectomy haemorrhage rates have been observed following ‘hot’ tonsillectomy techniques, compared with ‘cold steel’ dissection. Post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage rates and the degree of blood loss during guillotine tonsillectomy have not been reported in the recent literature.
Methods: This retrospective case note review assessed the degree of blood loss during guillotine tonsillectomy, as measured by the number of tonsil swabs used, and the post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage rate.
Results: In a group of 168 patients, no tonsil swabs were used in 13.1 per cent of cases, and less than two tonsil swabs were used in 41.1 per cent of cases.
Conclusion: Guillotine tonsillectomy, when performed by the method described in this article, resulted in minimal intra-operative blood loss in 54 per cent of cases, and appeared to have comparable post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage rates to cold steel dissection techniques.
(Accepted December 08 2008)
(Online publication March 11 2009)
VS Sunkaraneni & H Ismail-Koch are the joint first authors.
Mr P K Jain takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper.
Competing interests: Mr P K Jain is the inventor of the Jain tonsil ‘A’ frame and the Jain insulated pillar retractor, which are manufactured by Downs Surgical, Sheffield, UK.