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4 Ways to Use Alternatives to Tonsillectomy

4 Ways to Use Alternatives to Tonsillectomy
A doctor checks a child's tonsils with her mother sitting behind her. Photo Credit gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

In 2000, the Federal Food and Drug Administration approved a procedure as an alternative to a tonsillectomy, which removes the tonsils entirely. This new technique, called somnoplasty, instead shrinks the tonsils by using tiny needle electrodes, which are inserted into the tonsils. The needles emit an energy wave which burns away the tonsil tissues and kills cells. The tonsils then start to shrink and minimize all on their own.

This procedure does not carry with it many of the debilitating side effects that a tonsillectomy does. Tonsillectomies often leave the patient with difficulty swallowing for two weeks after surgery. This newer procedure takes just about one hour to perform and can be done with a local anesthetic. It has shown to reduce bleeding and the post operative pain that is a likely consequence of a traditional tonsillectomy.

If you feel that you might be a candidate for this procedure, speak with your doctor.

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