Advanced Treatment Options for Tonsillectomy

Dr. Amenta offers Advanced Treatment Options for Tonsillectomy including the Tissue Welding Tonsillectomy as well as the Partial Tonsillectomy with Radio-Frequency

Advanced Treatment Option (1):

Tissue Welding Tonsillectomy (Also known as “Thermal Fusion” or “Thermal Welding”)

  • Uses moderate direct heat and pressure to simultaneously remove the tonsils and seal the blood vessels
  • Very accurate so tissue can be preserved
  • Minimal tissue damage results in faster healing with much less pain and smaller chance of bleeding
  • Many adults (depending on tolerance and work requirements—no heavy lifting!) can return to work after one week
  • For children, codeine-containing medications are no longer FDA approved for tonsillectomy.
  • Minimizing pain for children is essential
  • Liquid acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen are sufficient in children with this technique—without dangerous narcotics!

Advanced Treatment Option (2):

Partial Tonsillectomy with Radio-Frequency

  • For Adults that have only obstructive problems with their tonsils and need to return to work in the most rapid time (i.e., within a week)!
  • This involves reducing the tonsil size by about 85% using a solution activated by a special radio-frequency device.
  • Leaves a small amount of tonsil tissue up against the muscles of the throat lessens the pain and irritation of this area

Tonsillectomy factoids:

  • More than 500,000 tonsillectomies are performed in the U.S.
  • Approximately 33% of tonsillectomies are performed on adults
  • Chronic infection in adults is the most common reason for tonsillectomy
  • This can include multiple strep throats over several years
  • Or 1-2 severe tonsil infections causing hospitalizations or abscess drainages
  • Or tonsil “stones” which are cheese-like clumps of material in the tonsils with irritation or odor
  • Approximately 66% of tonsillectomies are performed on children
  • Of the tonsillectomies performed on children, 80% are for obstructive breathing problems
  • In many cases, a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can normalize the sleep in a child to the point where small stature, nightmares, or bed wetting are improved
  • In one study, 30% of children who were on medication for ADHD before their tonsillectomy had stopped this because they were no longer diagnosed with ADHD.
  • Tonsillectomies are not done for obvious, laryngitis-type symptoms such as throat clearing, lump-in-the-throat feeling, voice changes, or blocked swallowing in the lower throat
  • Vague sore throat is not a reason for tonsillectomy
  • Please look at this illustration. If the patient’s tonsils are smaller than size 3 or 4, they are usually not enlarged enough to benefit the patient’s sleep if they are removed

Lecture on Dr. Amenta’s Experience with Tissue Welding Tonsillectomy

Here is a video of excerpts from a lecture Dr. Amenta gave on Tissue Welding Tonsillectomy

Here is the full lecture

Some useful links

Here is a report about the improvements in ADHD after tonsillectomy

Here is the actual study from the journal Pediatrics

Here is an animation of the Tissue Welding Tonsillectomy:

Here is a video of an actual Tissue Welding Tonsillectomy surgery:

Here is a video of a patient describing his experience from the Tissue Welding Tonsillectomy:

Here are two links two studies comparing Tissue Welding Tonsillectomy (here called “Thermal Welding Tonsillectomy”) to other methods:

Here is the FDA’s warning for consumers about codeine medications in children

Here is an article for physicians describing tonsillectomy in children and the need to avoid codeine

Ear, Nose, and Throat – Physician and Surgeon