Powered intracapsular tonsillotomy vs. conventional extracapsular tonsillectomy for pediatric OSA: A retrospective study about efficacy, complications and quality of life

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2015 Jul;79(7):1106-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2015.04.041. Epub 2015 May 6.


Objectives: To compare the results of powered intracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (PITA) with that of conventional extracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (ECTA) in treatment of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as regard efficacy, complications including postoperative pain and bleeding, and quality of life.

Methods: Four hundred fifty children with adenotonsillar hyperplasia (with age range from 3 to 14 years) underwent tonsillectomy ± adenoidectomy (251 PITA and 199 ECTA) from January 2012 till October 2014 for OSA. Outcome measures included Obstructive Sleep Apnea Survey (OSA-18), the number of cases treated for post tonsillectomy bleeding with particular regard to the number of cases that needed readmission, the need for analgesics, the visual analog scale (VAS) for post-operative pain, the perceived satisfaction assessed by post tonsillectomy quality of life questionnaire (QOL).

Results: OSA-18 scores proved that both PITA and ECTA were equally effective in curing upper airway obstructive symptoms as reflected by the targeted questionnaire. Postoperative bleeding was significantly lower in the PITA group (P<0.01). Postoperative pain and number of needed analgesic doses were significantly lower in the PITA group (P=0.01, P<0.01, respectively). Satisfaction and quality of life were significantly higher in the PITA group (P<0.01).

Conclusion: PITA is proved to be effective in treating pediatric OSA with less morbidity, less complications in terms of postoperative bleeding mainly with better satisfaction and lower incidence of regrowth.

Keywords: Microdebrider; Tonsillectomy; Tonsillotomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Tonsillectomy / instrumentation
  • Tonsillectomy / methods*
  • Visual Analog Scale