Heat 'n Shrink Problem Tonsils

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QUICK RECOVERY

Tonsillar radioblation --shrinking enlarged tonsils with heat--kept tonsils infection-free for 2 years after the procedure, a study of 187 people has found. (Presented at the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons annual conference, Sept 2001)

In radioblation, a penlike device delivers heat by creating several tiny channels in the tonsils. The heat shrinks tissue and creates an internal scar that forms a protective layer to prevent future infections. It takes about 5 minutes and requires mild sedation and a local anesthetic.

Participants returned to work or school the next day, says study author Mansoor Madani, DMD, director of the Center for Corrective Surgery in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Some insurance companies cover the $2,100 fee, but few surgeons are trained to use the device. For more info, go to www.prevention.com/links.

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By Sari Harrar

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