With a continued desire to reduce the morbidity of tonsil surgery, otolaryngologists have begun to use powered microdebriders to perform partial intracapsular tonsillectomies. This technique has an advantage over conventional tonsillectomy of leaving a biological dressing or residual tonsillar tissue and capsule to protect the underlying musculature with its vessels and nerves. The literature has shown that partial intracapsular tonsillectomy is equally effective at relieving patient’s symptoms of obstruction when compared to conventional tonsillectomy and that it appears to reduce the complications of postoperative pain, dehydration, and bleeding. Patients are able to return to normal activity and diet faster as the healing process is accelerated. This article reviews the published data on microdebrider-assisted partial intracapsular tonsillectomy with a discussion of its advantages, potential limitations and areas of future research.

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