Purpose: To compare post-operative pain in children undergoing tonsillectomy by blunt dissection or electrocautery. Method: Thirty-six children between the ages of 5 and 15 years were recruited for the study. Tonsillectomy was done in a standardized fashion with uniform anaesthetic practices. Each child kept a pain diary for 10 days, recording pain twice daily on a Visual Analog Scale and Faces Pain Scale. Doses of analgesics were recorded. Results: There were no statistically significant differences in the pain scores for the groups, although there was a trend toward more pain in the blunt dissection group. There were more complications in this group, and these children used significantly more doses of acetaminophen. Sources of bias are discussed. Conclusion: These results suggest a trend toward greater postoperative pain in children who have tonsillectomies by blunt dissection techniques.
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