To compare the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency and monopolar electrocautery tonsillectomy, regarding operation duration and tonsillectomy morbidity, including post-operative pain and haemorrhage and tonsillar fossa healing, in patients with recurrent chronic tonsillitis.
A prospective, randomised, double-blind, controlled clinical study.
Fifty patients aged over 10 years who required tonsillectomy were randomly assigned to have one tonsil removed by radiofrequency and the other by monopolar electrocautery. Operation duration, post-operative haemorrhage, post-operative pain and tonsillar fossa wound healing were compared.
The mean ± standard deviation of the operation duration required for the radiofrequency method was significantly longer than that for monopolar electrocautery: 8.1 ± 1.6 minutes vs 7.3 ± 1.5 minutes, respectively (p = 0.034). Post-operative haemorrhage was observed in only three patients (13.6 per cent). Inter-group analysis showed no significant differences in post-operative pain scores for the radiofrequency vs monopolar electrocautery methods (3.7 ± 1.6 vs 3.3 ± 1.4, respectively; p < 0.126). Inter-group analysis showed that tonsillar fossa wound healing scores evaluated on the fifth, 10th and 14th post-operative days were significantly higher in the radiofrequency group compared with the monopolar electrocautery group (p < 0.001).
The present study results indicated that monopolar electrocautery tonsillectomy was superior to radiofrequency tonsillectomy in terms of post-operative tonsillar fossa wound healing; however, both techniques were comparable in terms of post-operative pain.