Maxillofac Plast Reconstr Surg.  2016 Nov;38(11):47. 10.1186/s40902-016-0092-y.

Tonsillectomy as prevention and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing: a report of 23 cases

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Seoul National University Dental Hospital, 101 Daehakno, Jongno-Gu, Seoul 110-768, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
The paradigm of tonsillectomy has shifted from a treatment of recurrent throat infection to one of multi-discipline management modalities of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). While tonsillectomy as a treatment for throat problems has been performed almost exclusively by otorhinolaryngologists, tonsillectomy as a part of the armamentarium for the multifactorial, multidisciplinary therapy of sleep-disordered breathing needs a new introduction to those involved in treating SDB patients. This study has its purpose in sharing a series of tonsillectomies performed at the Seoul National University Dental Hospital for the treatment and prevention of SDB in adult patients.
METHODS
Total of 78 patients underwent tonsillectomy at the Seoul National University Dental Hospital from 1996 to 2015, and 23 of them who were operated by a single surgeon (Prof. Jin-Young Choi) were included in the study. Through retrospective chart review, the purpose of tonsillectomy, concomitant procedures, grade of tonsillar hypertrophy, surgical outcome, and complications were evaluated.
RESULTS
Twenty-one patients diagnosed with SDB received multiple surgical procedures (uvulopalatal flap, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, genioglossus advancement genioplasty, tongue base reduction, etc.) along with tonsillectomy. Two patients received mandibular setback orthognathic surgery with concomitant tonsillectomy in anticipation of postoperative airway compromise. All patients showed improvement in symptoms such as snoring and apneic events during sleep.
CONCLUSIONS
When only throat infections were considered, tonsillectomy was a procedure rather unfamiliar to oral and maxillofacial surgeons. With a shift of primary indication from recurrent throat infections to SDB and emerging technological and procedural breakthroughs, simpler and safer tonsillectomy has become a major tool in the multidisciplinary treatment modality for SDB.

Keyword

Tonsillectomy; Sleep-disordered breathing; Obstructive sleep apnea; Mandibular setback

MeSH Terms

Adult
Genioplasty
Humans
Hypertrophy
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Orthognathic Surgery
Pharynx
Retrospective Studies
Seoul
Sleep Apnea Syndromes*
Sleep Apnea, Obstructive
Snoring
Tongue
Tonsillectomy*
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