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.
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.
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.
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.