Microdebrider vs electrocautery: a comparison of tonsillar wound healing histopathology in a canine model

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Apr;138(4):486-91. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2007.11.016.


Objective: To evaluate tonsillar wound healing histopathology in a canine model following microdebrider intracapsular and electrocautery tonsillectomy techniques.

Study design: Randomized, controlled, single-blinded, paired comparison of histopathology.

Subjects and methods: Twelve beagles underwent tonsillectomies by microdebrider on one side and electrocautery on the other. Punch biopsies were taken of the tonsillar fossae on postoperative days 3, 9, and 20. Specimens were graded with a novel mucosal wound healing scale (inter-rater reliability, r = 0.83) and appropriate statistical analysis performed.

Results: Combined mucosal wound healing scale scores showed significantly faster healing on the microdebrider side when compared to the electrocautery side on postoperative day 3 and day 9 (P < 0.05), which equalized by day 20.

Conclusion: In a canine model of tonsillar wound healing, microdebrider intracapsular tonsillectomy produced significantly faster healing than electrocautery tonsillectomy in the early postoperative course. The "biologic dressing" theory of intracapsular tonsillectomy wound healing may account for observed differences in healing and suggests a mechanism for improved clinical outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Debridement
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Palatine Tonsil / pathology
  • Palatine Tonsil / physiopathology*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Tonsillectomy / methods*
  • Wound Healing*