Introduction: Tonsillectomy is a frequently used, low-risk surgical procedure. The post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage occurs rarely, but is a life-threatening complication. Some studies show that the surgical technique affects the haemorrhage rate. Aims: To analyse the post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage rate, and to determine whether the effect of the surgical technique on the haemorrhage rate exists. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data of all patients who underwent a tonsillectomy in three regional ENT departments in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Tuzla, Zenica and Bihac) between January 1st 2015 and October 31st 2016. Disorders which could affect the post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage rate were excluded. Tonsillectomy techniques used in these three centers were the hot technique (monopolar/bipolar forceps dissection and haemostasis) and the combined technique (cold steel dissection with monopolar/bipolar forceps haemostasis). Results: 1087 patients that underwent a tonsillectomy were analysed in this study. 864 (79.48%) of those were children. 922 (84.82%) patients were operated using the combined technique, 165 (15.17%) underwent a tonsillectomy using the hot technique. Post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage occured in 46 (4.23%) patients. 45 (4.88%) patients had a postoperative haemorrhage after tonsillectomy using the combined technique, whereas haemorrhage occured in 1 patient (0.6%) after using the hot technique. The haemorrhage rate was about eight times lower after tonsillectomy using the hot technique (p=0.012). Conclusion: We conclude that the surgical technique used for tonsillectomy and adenotonsillectomy with the lowest post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage rate is the hot technique; these results are statistically significant. This technique should be used whenever possible, in order to lower the risk of post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage.
tonsillectomy;haemorrhage;hot technique;combined technique