Original Investigation

Tonsillotomy versus Tonsillectomy for Chronic Recurrent Tonsillitis in Children


  • Yaser Said Çetin
  • Ufuk Düzenli

Received Date: 05.10.2019 Accepted Date: 08.01.2020 Turk Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2020;58(1):30-34


This study was conducted to compare two different surgical methods; partial tonsil resection using the bipolar technique, tonsillotomy (TT), and total tonsillectomy (TE) (blunt dissection) for recurrent tonsillitis in children. The frequency of recurrent throat infections was determined during postoperative follow-up.


A total of 393 patients were included in this study. TT was performed on 174 patients (100 males, 74 females) and TE on 219 patients (112 males, 107 females). Following surgery, an analysis was made of treatment outcomes of patients with upper respiratory tract infections. The patients were followed up for 12-48 months. Their parents were also contacted by telephone to determine the frequency of reinfection and their satisfaction with the surgery. Also, parents of the patients completed a questionnaire pertaining to postoperative satisfaction (scale of 1-10).


In the TT group, 14 (8.1%) patients had recurrent tonsillitis postoperatively. In the TE group, 12 (5.4%) patients required antibiotherapy due to recurrent pharyngitis after the surgery. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of the one-year infection recurrence rate after surgery (p=0.281). Three patients (1.6%) in the TT group and 12 (5.4%) in the TE group complained of bleeding within the first 24 hours. The rate of bleeding was significantly lower in the TT group than the TE group (p=0.001). There were no fatalities in either group.


In both groups, the rate of reinfection accorded with the requirement for postoperative antibiotics. For recurrent tonsillitis, TT was as effective as TE. However, TT was superior in terms of the risk of bleeding.

Keywords: Recurrent tonsillitis, tonsillotomy, tonsillectomy, bipolar tonsillotomy