June 09, 2011

Innovative Research to Treat Tonsil Stones by Dr. Chris Chang Accepted for Publication

There are some unfortunate individuals who suffer from an annoying problem called tonsil stones. This aggravating problem is when the tonsils produce tiny stones that extrude into the mouth resulting in chronic bad breath and throat discomfort. When it does pop out into the mouth, the stone itself tastes terrible. For many individuals, this may occur every few weeks. In others, it can happen on a daily basis causing significant quality of life issues.

In the past, there has been only 3 ways to address this problem:

1) Conservative management with gargles and manual expression (kind of like popping a pimple, but it's the tonsil)
2) Tonsillectomy (no tonsils to produce the stones than)
3) Laser cryptolysis (a laser beam is used to obliterate the tonsil surface causing the crypts and holes where tonsils stones are produced to disappear)

However, there are disadvantages to each of these different methods. For tonsillectomy, the pain during recovery is excruciating and can last up to 3+ weeks. Also, the surgery has to be performed under general anesthesia. Laser cryptolysis is rarely performed mainly because of the risks associated with laser use (eye damage, facial and lip burns, bleeding, etc).

As such, Dr. Chang has developed a new technique that minimizes the drawbacks with these methods called coblation cryptolysis. Pain does not typically last more than 1 week and does not have any of the risks associated with laser use. Furthermore, it can be done without any sedation. Only local anesthesia is used. Watch video on how this procedure is performed.

His technique and findings has been accepted for publication in ENT Journal.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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