The removal of tonsils with the help of lasers is known as laser tonsillectomy. Unlike traditional tonsillectomies, laser tonsillectomy is a method which employs high-powered laser beams that are passed through the tonsil area where the laser beam vaporizes tonsil tissue to alleviate many symptoms related to tonsils. The time required to perform this operation is around half an hour. There are pros and cons to be considered with this method and the suitability of treatment depends on the patient who is considering having the tonsillectomy.
Laser tonsillectomy is performed using either local or general anesthetic. The entire procedure is typically carried out in a laser room with no trip required to a standard hospital operating room. Recovery time depends on the complexity of the procedure and the individual patient response, but many patients are able to resume work the next day.
When the surgery is done under local anesthetic, the patient will be awake throughout the procedure and can watch the surgeon performing the operation. The back portion of the patient’s throat is numbed by the surgeon and the laser is then used to vaporize the problematic tonsil tissue.
When undergoing general anesthetic, the patient is asleep during the entire operation and awakens after the surgery is completed. Surgeons use endotracheal tubes to protect the patient‘s lower airway from being exposed to effects from the laser. Most surgeons will insist that younger children undergo a general anesthetic for laser surgery, but adult patients should discuss their options and preferences with their surgeon.
The shorter recovery time of laser tonsillectomy versus traditional surgery is one of the primary benefits for adult patients who can usually begin consuming drinks or food within a few hours and carry on their regular daily activities the next day.
Most patients are advised to use antiseptic or antibiotic treatment for a short period following any tonsillectomy surgery and some patients may need steroids or narcotic pain medication for a few days to control pain, swelling or inflammation.
With conventional tonsillectomy, patients can experience severe bleeding during or after the surgery. Laser tonsillectomy generally results in very little blood loss during surgery. The other instance where bleeding can be a problem with tonsillectomy occurs when the scabs slough off. Each patient has his or her own healing response to any trauma, but following the after-care instructions carefully will minimize the risk of complications.
To find a doctor in your area who performs laser tonsillectomies and will be happy to answer your additional questions as they pertain to your condition, just fill out the form on the right side of the webpage and we will automatically match you with an ENT in your area who specializes in this procedure.