Fibrin sealant reduces pain after tonsillectomy: Prospective randomized study

Michael Vaiman, Daniel Krakovski, Haim Gavriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Postsurgical pain in adults following tonsillectomy with fibrin sealant or electrocoagulation was assessed by surface electromyography (sEMG), a dysphagia severity rating scale (DSRS), and a visual analog scale (VAS) pain score. Methods: For group 1 (n = 40), hemostasis was achieved by fibrin sealant spraying to the tonsillar fossae. For group 2 (n = 40), hemostasis was achieved by bipolar or needle point electrocautery. The timing of single swallowing and continuous drinking and the mean electrical activity of the masseter, infrahyoid, and submental-submandibular muscles were compared with a normative database during 30 days and with DSRS and VAS scores. Results: Electrical activity of the masseter and infrahyoid muscles was significantly higher in both groups in comparison with the normative database (p < .05 to p < .005), whereas timing was less affected. The combined sEMG, DSRS, and VAS assessment showed that tonsillectomy ended with sealant causes less pain than electrocoagulation (p < .05). The DSRS score data were in strong positive correlation with the sEMG records, whereas the VAS pain score was less informative. Conclusions: The combined sEMG and pain score data indicate that the electrocautery hemostatic technique is more painful and traumatic than the sealant technique. Surface electromyography of swallowing is a simple, reliable evaluation method for postsurgical odynophagia complaints and might be used as an objective tool for pain assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Dysphagia
  • Recurrent tonsillitis
  • Surface electromyography
  • Tonsillectomy


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