I have a friend who has chronic tonsillitis. She has been offered to undergo tonsil washing (промывание лакун миндалин - Russian Wikipedia), a procedure apparently widely used in my country (Russia). The verbatim translation is "washing of the tonsillar lacunae" (is it "tonsillar crypts" in English?).
There are generally two approaches to this:
- Using a syringe with a special curved needle adapter and a blunt needle: the doctor puts the needle inside tonsillar lumina and pumps in the solution, which forces all the accumulated matter out.
- The accumulated detritus is sucked out under local anesthesia using vacuum suction.
The procedure is called to clear the bunged-up tonsillar lumina. However, my friend is unsure whether the benefits will outweigh the side effects. The doctor said it may leave minute scars on her tonsils.
I tried googling for "tonsil washing" in English and found only a couple of articles translated from Russian (example) and a mention of a "Tonsil washing device" on a German website. I also found a mention of a "Roeder method" in a 2014 review:
In his book “The Natural Tonsil Treatment” of 1918, Roeder describes a method that is used more often today than earlier in many ENT practices. The detritus-filled tonsils are suctioned with a glass suction cup, thereby removing the debris and massaging the tonsils at the same time, which (according to the current viewpoint) promotes lymphatic drainage . Then the tonsils are brushed or sprayed with disinfectant solutions. However, this method is more difficult to apply in children because the suction procedure is quite painful.
Is "tonsil washing" used at all in the West? Is it supported by any clinical studies?
P.S. I've made a search in my local (Yekaterinburg, Russia) web forums, and found out that it's a quite common procedure here. Numerous people write that they underwent it.