Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2016 Dec;59(12):836-842. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2016.59.12.836.

A Pilot Randomized Comparative Study of Two Diathermy Power Settings for Monopolar Microdissection and Bipolar Hemostasis during Tonsillectomy

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Gachon University Gil Hospital, Incheon, Korea. hndyk@gilhospital.com
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Hospital, Incheon, Korea.


Optimal electrical power required for diathermy during tonsillectomy has not been determined. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate and compare surgical outcomes of using diathermy power settings at 15 watts (W) and 25W for monopolar microdissection and bipolar hemostasis during tonsillectomy. SUBJECTS AND METHOD: This prospective, single-center, single-blind, randomized study was conducted on 92 patients who underwent 15W or 25W monopolar microdissection and bipolar hemostasis for tonsillectomy. Operation times, post-operative pain severities, and rates of hemorrhage were compared between the 15W and 25W groups.
The 92 patients were randomized equally into two study groups. The mean operation duration for the 15W group was significantly longer than in the 25W group (18.5±6.11 versus 13.4±6.04 minutes, p<0.01). The rate of minimal hemorrhage (defined as an episode of bleeding not significant enough for hospital visitation) for the 15W group was significantly higher than for the 25W group (41.3% versus 20.5%, p<0.05). No significant intergroup difference was observed between the rates of primary or secondary hemorrhage or postoperative pain scores.
Twenty-five watt monopolar microdissection and bipolar hemostasis for tonsillectomy had a shorter mean operation time and a lower post-operative minimal hemorrhage rate than 15W monopolar microdissection and bipolar hemostasis.


Diathermy; Hemorrhage; Operative time; Postoperative pain; Tonsillectomy
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