Effect of cold-water cooling of tonsillar fossa and pharyngeal mucosa on post-tonsillectomy pain.

American Journal of Otolaryngology

PubMedID: 24508083

Shin JM, Byun JY, Baek BJ, Lee JY. Effect of cold-water cooling of tonsillar fossa and pharyngeal mucosa on post-tonsillectomy pain. Am J Otolaryngol. 2014;35(3):353-6.
PURPOSE
Post-tonsillectomy pain is a notable concern and thermal injury produced by electric surgical devices is considered a main cause. Intraoperative cooling of the tonsillar fossa and pharyngeal mucosa with cold water has effectively reduced postoperative pain, but no studies have fully evaluated the effects of this technique with a proper study design. We assessed mucosal cooling in two groups of patients undergoing the same surgical technique by a single surgeon, with one group receiving cold-water cooling and the other group as a control.

METHODS
Forty patients who underwent monopolar electrocautery tonsillectomy were randomly assigned to two groups (n = 20 for each group). Group 1 received cooling of the tonsillar fossa and pharyngeal mucosa with 4°C saline just after removal of each tonsil whereas Group 2 did not receive cooling. Postoperative pain was recorded on operation day and 1, 2, 4, 7, and 10 days postoperatively. Post-tonsillectomy pain, return to normal diet, and incidence of postoperative bleeding were compared between the groups.

RESULTS
Post-tonsillectomy pain on 6 selected days and overall pain during the 10-day follow-up period were significantly lower in Group 1. However, return to normal diet and incidence of postoperative bleeding did not differ significantly between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS
Intraoperative application of cold water after tonsillectomy significantly reduced postoperative pain. We recommend cooling the tonsillar fossa and pharyngeal mucosa with cold water during tonsillectomy to easily and effectively reduce post-tonsillectomy pain.