Complications of Microdebrider-Assisted Powered Intracapsular Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy

Alexander Sorin, John P. Bent, Max M. April, Robert F. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Objectives: To study complications of powered intracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (PITA) in pediatric patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Study Design: Retrospective chart review and long-term follow-up in office or by telephone interview. Methods: We studied 278 patients who underwent PITA between September 2000 and October 2002. Outcome measures were postoperative bleeding, velopharyngeal insufficiency, need for hospital readmission, tonsil regrowth, and return of snoring or sleep apnea symptoms. Results: All 278 children treated by PITA had immediate resolution of symptoms of OSA. Complications were noted in 11 patients (3.9%). Nine patients (3.2%) experienced tonsil regrowth with snoring, two of whom evolved to a return of OSA that was definitively managed by means of a complete tonsillectomy. Two patients (0.7%) had self-limited bleeding. None of the patients developed persistent velopharyngeal insufficiency or required hospital readmission. Conclusions: Microdebrider-assisted PITA is a safe and effective alternative for children otherwise treated with traditional tonsillectomy for symptoms of OSA due to adenotonsillar hypertrophy. This series suggests a 3.9% overall rate of complications, with the most common noted as tonsillar regrowth without recurrence of OSA. Prospective trials with longer follow-up may define higher complication rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-300
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications of partial tonsillectomy
  • Intracapsular tonsillectomy
  • Microdebrider
  • Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea
  • Subtotal tonsillectomy
  • Tonsillotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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