Every year more than 650,000 tonsillectomies are performed in the United States. Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeons use a conventional surgical setup for tonsillectomy procedures which consists of an intubation tube, an oral gag and a tongue blade. Airway management is challenging in tonsillectomies because the Laryngeal Mask Airway is not compatible with commonly used tongue blades and oral gags needed to keep the patients mouth open and tongue depressed during the procedure.
Additionally, tonsillectomies have a variable patient demographic. Tongue blade sets come in multiple sizes. With the current design the tongue blades get wider as they get longer, making it difficult to size every mouth leading to patient discomfort, added surgical time and poor visualization of the surgical site.
The Adjustable Tongue Blade (ATB) is designed to address the problems that exist with the current airway management system and surgical preparation. The ATB’s sliding mechanism allows the procedure to be completed quickly and with less discomfort to the patient. By allowing variability in the length of the blade, the need for multiple blade sizes is eliminated and reduces the amount of tools needed to be cleaned and stored. The ATB is compatible with existing tools, but also provides a channel that accommodates a Laryngeal Mask Airway, allowing surgeons to use newer technology to gain secured airway for patients.
Dr. Allan Allphin is a board certified Otolaryngologist with Mercy Clinic-Ear, Nose and Throat. He received his medical degree from Texas Tech University and completed his residency at Case Western Reserve University. He is a member of American Medical Association, American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery and the Amercian Academy of Pediatrics.
The ATB has a variability of length, a Laryngeal Mask Airway Channel and accommodates Crowe Davis and McIvor mouth gags.
The ATB is easy to use, improves patient comfort during the procedure, eliminates need for multiple tongue blade sizes, reduces cost associated with purchasing, cleaning and storage and decreases procedure time.