Use of Coblation® technology for tonsillectomy has grown significantly in the last several years. Since 1998, CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat has had very positive results with this procedure for both adults and children. It was the first Charlotte-area practice to use Coblation exclusively for removal of tonsils and remains one of the few to utilize this technology.
“This technology has essentially revolutionized the tonsillectomy.” CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat founder, William McClelland, M.D., FACS
With Coblation, the tonsils are still excised, just with much less discomfort to the patient. Studies have clearly shown the benefits of Coblation over more traditional tonsillectomy methods. Postoperative pain was found to be significantly less with coblation when compared to
1. Another study which compared coblation with dissection tonsillectomy, showed that coblation was associated with a lesser incidence of delayed hemorrhage, especially in children2. The study also found significant advantages to coblation in the postoperative period, including less pain, an early return to daily activities, and fewer secondary infections in the tonsil bed.
Coblation is a non-heat driven process in which radiofrequency energy is applied to a conductive medium (usually saline) causing a highly focused plasma field to form around the electrodes. The plasma field is comprised of highly ionized particles. These ionized particles have sufficient energy to break organic molecular bonds within tissue. Tissue disassociation is achieved at low temperatures, between 60 °C and 70 °C, with minimal collateral thermal tissue damage. Compare this with the 400 °C to 600 °C temperatures required for other procedures such as electrosurgery. The coblation procedure also involves a cool, irrigating isotonic saline that helps limit the amount of heat delivered to surrounding structures.
1. Noordzij JP, Affleck BD. Coblation Versus Unipolar Electrocautery Tonsillectomy. The Laryngoscope. August 2006
2. Belloso A, Chidambaram A, Morar P, Timms MS. Coblation Technology Versus Dissection Tonsillectomy: Postoperative Hemorrhage. The Laryngoscope. November 2003