Getting your tonsils removed can be a painful procedure.

Grand River Hospital is one of only a few hospitals in Ontario to adopt a new procedure that uses lower temperatures and improves the recovery period.

The process is called coblation tonsillectomy – it combines radiofrequency and saline to create a plasma bubble. That combination is then used to dissect the tonsils at a much lower temperature.

Cambridge Memorial Hospital also uses the technology for tonsillectomies and other procedures.

Dr. Vinita Bindlish, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Grand River Hospital, has been testing the new procedure over the last six months.

“Having your tonsils out is often regarded as a minor procedure, for those of us who do the procedure, we know it’s not minor,” says Bindlish.

She says the two biggest things patients face after tonsil surgery is pain and the risk of bleeding.

“By reducing postoperative pain, we help patients drink sooner, eat sooner, get back to their regular activities sooner. Their recovery is much less stressful,” says Bindlish.

Grand River Hospital surgeons perform about 350 tonsillectomy procedures every year.

So far, Bindlish says the feedback from her patients over the last six months has been very positive.

“Patients were letting me know that within five days of surgery, they were eating solid food,” she says.

Six-year-old Sophia Lomax got her tonsils removed a few months ago, using the traditional procedure.

“After the surgery it was extremely painful for her,” says Amy Lomax, Sophia’s mother, “she really did suffer.”

Lomax would have opted for the new procedure had it been available at the time.

Coblation tonsillectomy has been developed over the last ten years and Grand River Hospital hopes this new procedure will help make the surgery process and recovery easier for children.

With reporting by Stu Gooden