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Intraindividual comparison of 1,470 nm diode laser versus carbon dioxide laser for tonsillotomy: A prospective, randomized, double blind, controlled feasibility trial


  • Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.

  • Miriam Havel and Ronald Sroka contributed equally to this study.



The need for reduction of post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage has led to promotion of tonsillotomy techniques for tonsil tissue reduction in obstructive tonsillar hypertrophy. This trial compares ablative tissue effects using 1,470 nm diode laser and carbon dioxide laser for tonsillotomy in an intraindividual design.


21 children aged 3–13 years (mean age 6.3 years) underwent laser tonsillotomy for obstructive tonsillar hypertrophy in this double blind, prospective, randomized, clinical feasibility trial. In each of the blinded patients, tonsillotomy was performed using fiber guided 1,470 nm diode laser (contact mode, 15 W power) on the one side and carbon dioxide laser (12 W power) on the other side. An independent, blinded physician documented clinical presentation and patients' symptoms preoperatively and on Days 1, 3, 7, 14, and 21 post-operatively using standardized questionnaire including VAS for each side separately.


The mean duration of operative treatment was 2.7 min using 1,470 nm laser and 4.9 min using carbon dioxide laser respectively. Intraoperative bleeding and the frequency of bipolar forceps use for intraoperative bleeding control was significantly less using 1,470 nm diode laser system. There was no difference in post-operative pain scores between the carbon dioxide laser treated and the 1,470 nm fiber guided diode laser treated side. No infections, hemorrhages or other complications occurred in the course of the 3 weeks post-operative period.


A fiber-guided 1,470 nm diode laser system offers an efficient and safe method for tonsillotomy as treatment of obstructive tonsillar hypertrophy. Compared to our standard practice (carbon dioxide laser), 1,470 nm laser application provides comparable tissue ablation effects with less intraoperative bleeding and shorter operation time. Lasers Surg. Med. 44: 558–563, 2012. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc.