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CO2 laser for lingual tonsillectomy

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.otohns.2004.06.600
  • Medicine


Abstract Objectives: Hypertropic lingual tonsils are a known obstruction in the upper airway. Enlarged linguals are responsible for obstructive sleep apnea, potential infections, and difficult intubations for routine surgeries. In our institution all patients were treated with protection of the airway, and ablation of lingual tonsils with a CO 2 laser. Methods: The patients were diagnosed with direct visualization and a CT scan of the neck. All patients were intubated with a laser reinforced endotracheal tube and fire precautions were taken when draping patient. One patient had a tracheotmy performed before being treated for hypertrophic lingual tonsils. A wide funnell larynscope was suspended. The CO 2 laser was used at 15 watts continuous along with an operating microscope to ablate the tissue. Results: All patients were admitted for a 23-hour stay. Postoperatively, no patient required intubation to protect the airway. Three of the 50 patients required a revision surgery to completely ablate all the lingual tonsils. The patient with the tracheotomy was decannulated. All patients were relieved and asymptomatic after surgery. Conclusion: CO 2 laser is a safe and acceptable method for lingual tonsillectomy. All patients in our institution had no complications and were free of all symptoms. The laser compleletly ablated the lingual tonsils removing the obstruction in the airway.

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