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Letters to the Editor
December 2003

Capsule Sparing in Tonsil Surgery: The Value of Intracapsular Tonsillectomy

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(12):1357. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.12.1357-a

I think the letter by Dr Bennhoff1 in the April 2003 issue of the ARCHIVES is worthy of comment. In his letter, Dr Bennhoff dismisses as "fads" the attempts (cryosurgery and radiofrequency) at addressing the unresolved problems with standard tonsillectomy: prolonged pain and an irreducible rate of postoperative delayed hemorrhage. He states as fact that "these modified techniques . . . leave an unpredictable amount of tonsil tissue . . . with presence of bacteria . . . continuation of . . . symptoms . . . and need for repeat tonsillectomy."1 His conviction reminds me of my first days as an otolaryngology resident being taught tonsillectomy and being admonished to leave no tonsillar remnant: "otherwise it will grow back."

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