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January 1989

Adenotonsillectomy: A Safe Outpatient Procedure

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland (Drs Maniglia and Cozzi). Dr Kushner is in private practice, Fort Myers, Fla.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(1):92-94. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860250094034

• Traditionally, adenotonsillectomy in children and tonsillectomy in adults have been performed as inpatient procedures. Our experience with this procedure as outpatient started in 1975 at the University of Miami–Jackson Memorial Medical Center. From 1975 to 1987, 1428 cases performed in Florida and Cleveland were reviewed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the technique used. Bismuth subgallate and epinephrine mixture for hemostasis is used without relying on electrocautery, ties, or suture technique to control bleeding. The incidence of immediate and delayed postoperative bleeding in a series of patients was extremely low (four [0.28%] of 1428 cases). Our technique has good hemostatic properties allowing vessels to contract and retract into the muscle of the tonsillar fossae and adenoid bed. Bismuth subgallate activates factor XII (Hageman factor) and, therefore, markedly accelerates the cascade of blood clotting. Outpatient adenotonsillectomy is safe, cost-effective, and minimizes psychologic implications, which may be an important factor, especially in children. Ambulatory adenotonsillectomy has not been well emphasized in the literature.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1989;115:92-94)