The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology (2009), 123:907-909 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2009

Short Communications

Guillotine tonsillectomy: a neglected technique

V S Sunkaranenia1, H Ismail-Kocha2, R J Saliba2 and P K Jaina3 c1

a1 Department of Otolaryngology, the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, UK
a2 Department of Otolaryngology, Southampton General Hospital, UK
a3 Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, UK
Article author query
sunkaraneni vs [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
ismail-koch h [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
salib rj [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
jain pk [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


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)

Key wordsTonsil; Tonsillitis; Tonsillectomy; Guillotine; Dissection


c1 Address for correspondence: Mr Parmod K Jain, ENT Department, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Poole BH15 2JB, UK. Fax: +44 (0)1202 448410 E-mail:


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.