Rate of post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage after elective bipolar microcauterization of nonbleeding vessels

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11 Scopus citations


The objective of this paper is to describe an extended microscopic hemostasis technique involving cauterization of exposed blood vessels that were not actively bleeding in tonsillar fossa after bipolar tonsillectomy and to assess the rate of post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage with this technique in children who had bipolar tonsillectomy. The medical records of children who underwent microscopic bipolar tonsillectomy with extended hemostasis between June 2008 and January 2011 were reviewed. Relevant history and physical examination, diagnosis, and characteristics of postoperative hemorrhage were recorded; 994 children (531 males, 463 females), aged between 1 and 18 years (6 ± 3 years), underwent tonsillectomy; of the 994 patients, 11 (1.1%) developed post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage. No primary post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage occurred. The hemorrhage was seen 6-13 days after the surgery. One patient had bleeding after having trauma to the neck on postoperative day 13. Of the 11 patients with post-tonsillectomy bleeding, 3 had blood clot with no active bleeding and 8 exhibited active bleeding after removal of blood clot. Of the 994 patients, 8 (0.8%) needed intervention to control active bleeding. Compared to previous studies of bipolar tonsillectomy, extended microscopic hemostasis achieved by cauterization of tonsil fossa non-bleeding blood vessels appeared to reduce bleeding rate after bipolar cautery tonsillectomy. The present study did not include a control arm; further randomized controlled studies are needed to establish the definite effect of extended microscopic hemostasis technique on the rate of hemorrhage rates after tonsillectomy techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1275
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012


  • Bipolar cautery
  • Hemorrhage
  • Microscope
  • Tonsillectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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