OBJECTIVE : To summarise the available literature related to wound healing post tonsillectomy, including the stages of healing, experimental models for assessing healing (in animals and humans) and the various factors that affect wound healing.
METHODS : A search of the English literature was conducted using the Ovid Medline database, with the search terms ‘tonsillectomy’ or ‘tonsil’ and ‘wound healing’. Thirty-one articles that objectively assessed tonsillectomy wound healing were included for analysis.
RESULTS : The majority of assessments in humans investigating tonsillectomy wound healing involve serial direct clinical examinations of the oral cavity. Many patient and surgical factors have been shown to affect wound healing after tonsillectomy. There is some research to suggest that the administration of adjunctive treatment in the post-operative period may be beneficial to tonsillectomy wound healing.
CONCLUSION : Wound healing post tonsillectomy has been poorly researched. Having a better understanding of the process of wound healing would allow surgeons to potentially prevent, anticipate and manage complications from the surgery that arise as part of the healing process.