A 10-year study by Australian researchers has found that "shrinking" tonsils is significantly less painful than removing them entirely, reports Xinhua.
Flinders University recently published the results of an analysis of 608 children who underwent tonsil surgery between 2008 and 2018.
Researchers found that children who had a sub-total tonsil reduction whereby their tonsils were reduced with a small portion left intact made a full recovery in 4.6 days on average compared to 11.1 days for those who had a full tonsillectomy.
They were also three times less likely to experience any bleeding after the procedure and eight times less likely to have serious bleeding requiring hospitalization.
"A full tonsillectomy exposes the muscles of the throat, causing pain and a higher risk of bleeding," Sara Attard, co-lead researcher, said in a statement.
"By removing 90-95 percent of the tonsil and leaving a small crescent-moon of tissue intact, it leads to much less pain and bleeding, which obviously allows kids to go back to childcare or school so much earlier as well as reassuring parents there is much less risk of a tonsil hemorrhage."
According to the study there are more than 35,000 tonsillectomies performed on Australian patients under the age of 17 every year.
"Recurrent tonsillitis is much less common than in the past. By far, the most common reason for tonsil surgery is now obstruction, most commonly causing snoring and sleep issues, as well as speech and eating problems in some cases," Simon Carney, Flinders University lead researcher, said.