EXTREME cold as a surgical modality is a relatively new invention in otolaryngology. In 1964 Rand1 described a cryogenic transphenoidal hypophysectomy. Since then the use of cryosurgery has been described in the labyrinth,2-4 neoplasms of the nasopharynx,5,6 laryngeal papillomata,7,8 and in epistaxis.9 Cryosurgery is also described in the treatment of carcinoma of the lip and oral cavity.10
This paper deals with a specific area of otolaryngologic surgery, that of cryotonsillectomy. Cahan11 described cryotonsillectomy in dogs in 1965. The first report of this procedure in humans was made by Hill12,13 and subsequently by VonLeden.14
The name of the procedure, cryotonsillectomy is probably not semantically correct as not all of the mass of lymphoid tissue is removed from the fauces, perhaps a more accurate name for the procedure would be cryogenic subtotal tonsillectomy.15
The postulated value of this procedure is based
Rabkin R. Cryogenic Tonsillectomy. Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;88(5):547–550. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00770010549017
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