Tonsillectomy in children: a five-factor analysis among three techniques--reporting upon clinical results, anesthesia time, surgery time, bleeding, and cost

Laryngoscope. 2010 Dec;120(12):2502-7. doi: 10.1002/lary.21128.


Objectives: Improved technology claims better clinical results for adenotonsillectomy (T&A) in children, and promoters of each technique announce many virtues over one another, year after year. However, cost remains one variable that is not always thoroughly addressed. In this study, monopolar cautery (MPC) T&A was compared with coblation (CAT) and molecular resonance (MR) techniques in a pediatric population.

Study design: Prospective analysis of 96 patients (32 for each surgical modality: MPC, MR, or CAT).

Setting: Tertiary care pediatric institution.

Subjects and methods: Clinical results, anesthesia and surgery time, bleeding, and cost among these three established techniques were compared. P-values of P < .05 were considered significant for all comparisons.

Results: The CAT and MPC had similar operative times (mean 19.2 and 21.1 minutes, respectively, P = NS), whereas the MR group had overall saving of 7.8 minutes in surgery (P < .05). In terms of cost of technology, the cost of the MPC and MR groups was 90.6% and 83.7% less than the CAT group, respectively.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that MR technique of T&A enabled the surgical team to save a significant amount of time, whereas CAT added substantial costs, compared to MR and standard cautery techniques.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anesthesia / methods*
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospital Costs*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Time Factors
  • Tonsillectomy / economics
  • Tonsillectomy / methods*
  • Tonsillitis / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome