The surgical plane for lingual tonsillectomy: An anatomic study

Eugene L. Son, Michael Underbrink, Suimin Qiu, Vicente A. Resto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The presence of a plane between the lingual tonsils and the underlying soft tissue has not been confirmed. The objective of this study is to ascertain the presence and the characteristics about this plane for surgical use. Methods: Five cadaver heads were obtained for dissection of the lingual tonsils. Six permanent sections of previous tongue base biopsies were reviewed. Robot assisted lingual tonsillectomy was performed using the dissection technique from the cadaver dissection. Results: In each of the 5 cadavers, an avascular plane was revealed deep to the lingual tonsils. Microscopic review of the tongue base biopsies revealed a clear demarcation between the lingual tonsils and the underlying minor salivary glands and muscle tissue. This area was relatively avascular. Using the technique described above, a lingual tonsillectomy using TORS was performed with similar findings from the cadaver dissections. Conclusions: A surgical plane for lingual tonsillectomy exists and may prove to have a role with lingual tonsillectomy with TORS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 5 2016


  • Lingual tonsil
  • Lingual tonsillectomy
  • Surgical plane
  • Transoral robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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