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Laser Cryptolysis to treat tonsil stones

Are you prone to tonsil stones and want to do something about them?

Laser tonsil cryptolysis is a common and effective treatment for tonsil stones. Read on to find out all you need to know about this tonsil stone treatment.

What is cryptolysis?

Cryptolysis means removal of the tonsil crypts, otherwise called fissures, cracks or holes in the tonsils. Some might say it is an outdated name, as a more modern and simpler term would be partial tonsillectomy under local anaesthetic.

When do you need it?

Generally this procedure is performed to treat tonsil stones, by vaporising away the holes, cracks, crevices and crypts where food traps in the tonsils and forms into stones - hardened lumps of food that are squeezed together within the tonsils.

How does the operation work?

Surgery for tonsil stones is performed when patients become fed up with trying to remove them themselves, or when the stones trigger tonsillitis or bad breath taste/breath. Partial tonsillectomy under local anaesthetic is generally performed using the carbon dioxide laser coupled to a computerised pattern generator. Local anaesthetic is achieved with xylocaine spray. The patient is wide awake sitting upright in a chair, and is able to go back to work after the procedure has been carried out. Post-operatively there is soreness for around 5 days on average, although only over the counter painkillers are required, no prescription painkillers are necessary.

How much does the operation cost?

This is a clinic procedure and costs £950 at HealthHub. Sometimes a second procedure is required, this costs £750. Very rarely a third, that costs £500. Big tonsils do need more treatment overall than small ones. Extended intracapsular laser tonsillectomy under general anaesthetic in a hospital costs £2800 and may be a good idea for those with bigger tonsils or a poor view as the local anaesthetic technique doesn't work as well then.

How long is the recovery period? Recovery with the local anaesthetic technique is quick. After 20 minutes the patient is free to have lunch and go back to normal activity. With the bigger procedure under general anaesthetic a few days off work are required, with prescribed painkillers being given for one week.

Need more information?

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© 2020 by Mike Dilkes ENT Laser Surgery

General Medical Council: 3096325

Mike Dilkes is a leading ENT surgeon based in London. He specialises in laser surgery for treatment of a range of Ear, Nose & Throat issues including tonsillitis, tonsil stones, snoring, sleep apnoea, cancers, catarrh and allergies. Typical treatments include laser tonsillectomy under local anaesthetic (also called tonsillotomy, tonsil resurfacing, tonsil crytolysis) or general anaesthetic (also called intracapsular laser tonsillectomy, inside-out laser tonsillectomy), palatoplasty, septoplasty, turbinoplasty, uvulectomy and posterior turbinoplasty for post nasal drip. Principal Mike Dilkes has over 20 years of consultancy experience and around 5,000 ENT operations and procedures performed.