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August 2, 1941


JAMA. 1941;117(5):337-342. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820310009005

Today the surgeon in almost every instance can assure the patient that the tonsils will be successfully removed—the tonsil, the whole tonsil and nothing but the tonsil—without injury to the other structures of the throat; yet four decades ago such assurance was the exception rather than the rule. Up to the turn of the century tonsillotomy (partial removal) was practiced, and the use of that operation continued through the first decade; in the second decade of this century too much was removed; automatic instruments came into vogue which stripped away from the throat a thin sheet of muscle; in the third and fourth decades standards of removal of the tonsils have been improved until a "muscle free dissection" is the common aim of all.

MUSCLE FREE DISSECTION  Anatomic research has shown that the tonsil is not a spherical cyst with a thick capsule, as has been believed, but is instead