According to a survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), approximately 600,000 tonsillectomies are performed every year. Post-operative pain and risks were found to be the major concerns of 90% of parents of children undergoing this procedure. Various technologies to completely or partially remove the infected tonsils have been developed over the years; the most common of which is the Dissection and snare method, in which the tissue is removed using forceps and scissors. Among other methods is the ablation of tissue by heating it using a CO2 Laser. There is, however, room for improvement on the effectiveness of the treatment in terms of post-operative care and cost. In order to address these issues, a laser-based heating device is proposed by Gradiant Research, LLC, (Concord, MA) which will heat the tonsil tissue using two opposing light-emitting, temperature-controlled surfaces that are pressed against the tonsils to create near-uniform temperature distribution on the bulk tissue. This work presents ex-vivo, thermal treatment experiments on freshly excised tonsil tissues to assess the corresponding cellular damage and support the development of the proposed method. An Arrhenius model uses the obtained results to determine the necessary exposure times.

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