[Laser-assisted tonsillotomy in children with obstructive sleep apnea and adenotonsillary hyperplasia--experiences as an outpatient procedure].

Research paper by F F Ilgen

Indexed on: 06 Sep '05Published on: 06 Sep '05Published in: Laryngo- rhino- otologie


The adenotonsillar hyperplasia is the most relevant cause for the obstructive sleep apnea in children. Since several years laser-assisted tonsillotomy becomes more common as an alternative treatment especially in children having no tonsillitis history. The therapeutical effect of laser-assisted tonsillotomy in combination with the traditional adenotomy treating the obstructive sleep apnea in children has not yet been researched. In addition literature indicates less pain and fast recovery of the children compared to conventional tonsillectomy.Starting May 2000 until May 2004 laser-assisted tonsillotomy and adenotomy have been performed in 50 outpatient children, mean age of 5.3 +/- 1.7 years, with adenotonsillar hyperplasia and possible sleep apnea. Postoperatively the parents of the patients were questioned with an anonymous questionnaire. Pre- and postoperative symptoms and Brouillette score, the degree of pain and the post-surgical time of recovery have been investigated.36 questionnaires have been evaluated. The follow-up time was between 4 weeks and 4 years (mean = 1.3 years). With regard to the symptoms snoring, difficulty breathing during sleep and apnea 32 of the children (89%) were symptom-free after laser-assisted tonsillotomy with adenotomy. The Brouillette-score improved significantly (p = 0.001), snoring was reduced in 91%, difficulty breathing in 93% and apnea in 100% of the children. The pain of the surgical intervention has been valued by the patient's parents as mild to moderate. Postoperatively 91.6% of the children recovered within 6 days (mean = 4.7 days), no bleeding occurred.Outpatient laser-assisted tonsillotomy with adenotomy can be recommended in children with adenotonsillar hyperplasia and possible obstructive sleep apnea. The surgical intervention is less painful, the children recover more quickly and the results on snoring, difficulty breathing and apnea are equal in comparison to conventional tonsillectomy with adenotomy. In addition the recommended procedure shows less post-operative complications.