Post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage: a prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial of cold dissection versus bipolar diathermy dissection
ABSTRACT To determine whether bipolar dissection tonsillectomy is associated with a higher post-operative haemorrhage rate than cold dissection tonsillectomy.
Prospective, randomized, controlled trial.
Otolaryngology department of a teaching hospital.
Two hundred and forty-five patients undergoing elective tonsillectomy between July 2002 and November 2004.
Patients were randomly assigned to either bipolar dissection or cold dissection (with bipolar haemostasis).
Post-operative haemorrhage rates, management (conservative or surgical) and blood transfusion requirements were recorded. The grade of surgeon and history of quinsy were also recorded.
One hundred and forty-one patients (58 per cent) were randomized to the bipolar dissection and 104 (42 per cent) to the cold dissection groups. Seventeen patients (12.1 per cent) in the bipolar dissection group and eight patients (7.7 per cent) in the cold dissection group suffered haemorrhage (p = 1.0; degrees of freedom (Df) 0.0; 95 per cent confidence intervals (CI) -0.1 to 0.0). The haemorrhage rates for procedures conducted by senior house officers, specialist registrars and consultants were 11.4 per cent, 10.3 per cent and 5.0 per cent, respectively. Two patients required surgical intervention, both from the bipolar dissection group. No patients required blood transfusion. A history of quinsy was not associated with an increased haemorrhage rate.
The difference in haemorrhage rates between groups and surgeon grades did not reach statistical significance. Nonetheless the trend towards a greater incidence of haemorrhage in the bipolar group and in procedures conducted by more junior surgeons during the trial raised concerns. The results of the National Prospective Tonsillectomy Audit and our interim results have led us to abandon the trial and disallow the use of bipolar dissection in tonsillectomies performed by junior staff members.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Objectives Determining post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage (PTH) risk factors is crucial for preventing it. The aim of the study was to analyse results of coagulation tests and preoperative family and medical history of coagulation disorders in order to establish if they have predictive value for PTH.Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española 07/2010; 61(4). DOI:10.1016/j.otorri.2010.01.017
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background: Septoplasty, tonsillectomy (with and without adenoidectomy) and cervical lymph node excision are amongst the most common 50 inpatient operations in Germany. Intracapsular tonsillectomies (i.e. tonsillotomies) are increasingly performed. The aim of this study was to evaluate technical traps and pitfalls as well as alleged medical malpractice associated with tonsillectomy (TE), adenoidectomy (AE), tonsillotomy (TT), septoplasty (SP) and cervical lymph node excision (LN). Methods: A questionnaire was sent to the Regional Medical Conciliation Boards, Medical Services of the Health Insurance Companies (MDK) and Regional Institutes of Forensic Medicine in Germany to collect anonymized cases of complications following TE, TT, AE, LN and SP. The results were discussed in the light of the contemporary medical literature and published trials and verdicts in Germany. Results: The response rate of our survey was 55.9%. The Institutes of Forensic Medicine contributed nine cases, 49 cases were submitted by the Regional Conciliation Boards and none by MDK. All forensic cases were associated with exsanguinations following tonsillectomy including two children (5 and 8 years of age) and seven adults (aged 20 to 69 years). The fatal post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage (PTH) had occurred 8.7 days on average; four patients experienced the bleeding episode at home (day 5, 8, 9 and 17, respectively). Repeated episodes of bleeding requiring surgical intervention had occurred in 6 patients. Three Conciliation Boards submitted decicions associated with TT (1), AE (4), LN (3), SP (16) and TE (25). Cases with lethal outcome were not registered. Only three of the 49 cases were assessed as surgical malpractice (6.1%) including lesion of the spinal accessory nerve, wrong indication for TE and dental lesion after insertion of the mouth gag. The review of the medico legal literature yielded 71 published verdicts after AE and TE (29), LN (28) and SP (14) of which 37 resulted in compensation of malpractice after LN (16; 57%), TE (10; 37%), SP (8; 57%) and AE (2; 100%). There were 16 cases of PTH amongst 27 trials after TE resulting either in death (5) or apallic syndrome (5). Bleeding complications had occurred on the day of surgery in only 2 patients. 16 trials were based on malpractice claims following SP encompassing lack of informed consent (6), anosmia (4), septal perforation (2), frontobasal injury (2) and dry nose (2). Trials after LN procedures were associated exclusively with a lesion of the spinal accessory nerve (28), including lack of informed consent in 19 cases. 49 cases (69%) were decided for the defendant, 22 (31%) were decided for the plaintiff with monetary compensation in 7 of 29 AE/TE-trials, 9 of 28 LN-trials and 6 of 14 SP-trials. Lack of informed consent was not registered for AE/TE but LN (11) and SP (2). Conclusion: Complicated cases following TE, TT, ATE, SP and LN are not systematically collected in Germany. It can be assumed, that not every complicated case is published in the medical literature or law journals and therefore not obtainable for scientific research. Alleged medical malpracice is proven for less than 6% before trial stage. Approximately half of all cases result in a plaintiff verdict or settlement at court. Proper documentation of a thourough counselling, examination, indication, informed consent and follow-up assists the surgeon in litigation. An adequate complication management of PTH is essential, including instructions for the patients/parents, instructions for the medical staff and readily available surgical instruments. Successful outcome of life-threatening PTH is widely based on a proper airway management in an interdisciplinary approach. Electrosurgical tonsillectomy techniques were repeatedly labeled as a risk factor for bleeding complications following TE. Institutions should analyse the individual PTH rate on a yearly basis. Contradictory expert opinions and verdicts of the courts concerning spinal accesory nerve lesions following LN are due to a lack of a surgical standard.01/2013; 12:Doc08. DOI:10.3205/cto000100
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The main postoperative complications after tonsillectomy are due to bleeding, and effective hemostasis may lead to a reduction of overall postoperative morbidity. This study was undertaken to determine the efficacy and safety of a novel kaolin-based hemostatic dressing in tonsillectomy.Journal of Surgical Research 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jss.2014.05.040 · 2.12 Impact Factor