Most people who need their tonsils removed will require a normal tonsillectomy. Please read about tonsillectomy operations here Read More
Some people however cannot have a general anaesthetic or cannnot afford the time off work. Some people are concerned about the risks of bleeding and pain after a traditional tonsillectomy operation, and want to have a smaller, less invasive operation. Mr Vik Veer is introducing a technique to the UK which can reduce the size of tonsils without the need for a general anaesthetic.
It should be stated that this reduces the tonsils similar to coblation intracapsular techniques. It does not completely remove the tonsils like the traditional tonsillectomy operation. It is therefore most useful for people who want to breathe and swallow better, rather than for people who people who want to avoid recurrent infections. If you want to avoid tonsillitis, you will need a complete removal of the tonsils rather than this technique or coblation.
The procedure takes approximately 10 minutes and starts with an injection of local anaesthetic around the tonsils. This makes the whole procedure more tolerable. Then a probe is inserted into the tonsils at regular intervals for about 10 seconds in each location. If there is any pain, the procedure can be stopped and more anaesthetic is injected into that area.
There is very little bleeding as the technique is cauterising the tonsils, rather than cutting into them. This means that over the next few weeks the tonsils will slowly shrink in size. They continue to shrink for about 3-6 months and up to 18 months in some cases.
Most tonsils will shrink down to grade 1 or 2 (normal size or barely visible rather than obstructive), within a month.
Because the procedure can be done under local anaesthetic, the cost is reduced.