Laser Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy

What You Need to Know about Laser Tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy surgery often evokes fear in many people, sometimes removing tonsils and adenoids is inevitable. Frequent tonsillitis, tonsil stones, snoring, or enlarged tonsils causing respiratory problems are common reasons to get them removed. It’s quite common to also remove the adenoids at the same time. Here are the four most common tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy methods used today.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy Surgery Methods

Laser Tonsillectomy or Harmonic Scalpel

An advanced piece of equipment that uses ultrasonic energy at a high rate, the tonsils are cut and the tissues tied at the same time. This laser tonsillectomy instrument allows for more precision. One advantage is that the damage to surrounding tissue is minimal with laser tonsillectomy surgery.

Here’s an interesting Video from the television program, The Doctors.  It’s about a different approach to tonsillectomy surgery. (Laser Tonsillectomy:


Cold Knife Dissection

The first of these tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy methods involves removing the tonsils with a scalpel. Although it is the most common among them and most preferred by ear, nose, and throat specialists, more bleeding during the procedure occurs with this than other tonsillectomy and adenoidectoy methods. However, there is minimal post-operative bleeding and less patient discomfort after the surgery.

Electrocautery Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy Surgery

The second of the tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy methods uses electrical energy to burn the tonsil tissue. While the reduction of bleeding is advantageous, the high heat temperatures can damage surrounding tissue, and may cause more discomfort after the surgery.

Radio frequency Ablation

During this tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy procedure, probes inserted in the tonsil transfer radio frequency energy to the tonsil tissue. Because this is a treatment and not a full removal, the patient does not undergo full anesthesia; instead, local anesthesia or light sedation is performed. The treatment causes deliberate tonsil scarring, which causes the tonsil to decrease in size. Advantages include a quick recovery and immediate return to activities.

Tonsillectomy methods vary greatly in tools and post-operative recovery. The decision on which method to use is based on what kind of surgery is being done–partial or whole tonsillectomy, as well as how much pain can be tolerated and the risk of post-operative bleeding. Recovery often lasts between one-and-a-half to three weeks in length. Your throat will be sore for about two weeks, and you will not want to swallow anything for a few days. It it is imperative that you drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated. Cold foods and liquids can help reduce throat inflammation. With advisement from your doctor, you both can problem-solve which of these tonsillectomy methods will work for you.


Did you have laser tonsillectomy?  What are your thoughts on it?


Laser tonsillectomy
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Tonsillectomy Recovery Store

31 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Methods

  1. After suffering from chronic tonsillitis/tonsil stones since the age of 6 (20 now), I’m finally having my tonsils and adenoids removed tomorrow! (3/13) My Surgeon told me he will be using a robotic apparatus called the Da Vinci to extract my tonsils and adenoids to minimize damage to the surrounding muscle tissue. Afterwards, they will be applying a surgical grade liquid bandage to the back of my throat to promote undisturbed skin growth. I haven’t seen any cases of this kind of tonsillectomy method on this site yet. I was wondering if anybody else has had their tonsils/adenoids removed via Da Vinci and if so, what was your operation/recovery like? Hopefully, because this method is “minimally intrusive” and other healing-friendly precautions are in place, my recovery time won’t be as lengthy or unpleasant. 🙂

  2. I’m looking for anyone’s feedback on the laser tonsillectomy method. Did you have one? Are you planning one?

    1. I was wondering if anyone has too. I believe that’s the method my doctor said hes going to use. Has anyone messaged you and told you how that process was? Thanks so much Greg

  3. I am 9 days out and feeling SO much better. I just wonder if anyone is having asymmetrical healing? I just feel like I had two different surgeries. One side of my throat is perfect, the other side has had significant ear pain, feels full of mucus and has a large lump in it? This sound right??

    1. Stacy, just went to the ENT yesterday for my 2 week follow up appt and mentioned the asymmetrical healing I had as a curiosity. He said it was very common to have asymmetrical healing. Every day brings a little less feeling of obstruction. Just have to keep taking it a day at a time. I found gargling with salt water (1/2 tsp to 1 cup of warm water) to be helpful, as well as rigorously chewing gum. Supposedly the worse part for many at my stage is yawning, and I can say that I believe all the gum chewing I did from early on helped exercise the muscles in my jaw. I’m 51 yrs old and feel as though the many tips I found on this site as well as other research I did online helped give me a toolbox of options to deal with the marathon of pain. So glad to be on the other side of this. Good luck with your continuing recovery!

  4. I’m now 8 months post-op and feel amazing. I won’t say it has changed my life, but I haven’t had a sore throat and my bad breath has gone. I hit huge pain around day 5-11 and it was super intense. I was lucky enough to have someone to look after me, bring me ice packs for my neck, prepare a variety of foods to try and get down me. Without this support (nursing really) I would have been miserable…well more so. One thing that I did so was to get three different types of pain killers that could be taken together and wouldn’t overlap. I had my alarm set religiously to take the meds regardless of how I felt. I found dissoluble was OK for a while but eventually the time it took to drink the volume of liquid made it more arduous. I had a breakthrough though when we tried a new way of delivering the pain meds….we put three large tablespoons of honey into a large mug, poured over very hot water and mixed well…. this was used to take tablets and because it was a slightly thicker liquid the honey helped ease down the pills and I actually felt no pain at all. I would recommend trying it if you’re at that stage and are going nuts.

  5. Hi Everyone. I just came upon this site today as I was looking for information about tonsil stones. I have mixed feelings about finding this site. 1) I am ecstatic I finally found out what those gross things are in my throat. 2) I am happy to know there is a support group out there. 3) I fear for what I may end up having to do and am at a loss emotionally.

    I am a single mother to a 3-year old, and I’m going on 40. Last year, I had streph throat for about 2.5 months straight (6 rounds of antiobiotics) and at around the same time, I was getting these stone things. I went to see the ENT and suggested removing my tonsils as an option to help cure the streph throat (stones was an unknown issue at that time), but I did not go through with it because I don’t have any help with my son. I am scared out of my mind as to the pain I would be experiencing from the recovery process, but more scared that I’ll compromise the car of my child because I’ll be in pain. This is such a dilemma for me, but I’m tired of getting sore throats all the time, and now tonsil stones. Any word of advice? Thank you.

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