Tonsils and their function

The tonsils are small, fleshy masses of tissue located on each side at the back of the throat. Tonsils along with the adenoids, which are just out of sight at the back of the throat, are part of the immune system. The tonsils function as a testing center in the throat, sampling viruses and bacteria that enter the body through the nose or mouth. Sometimes, because of this function, tonsils can become inflamed or enlarged and may need to be surgically removed.

COBLATION technology

COBLATION technology is a precise, relatively low temperature surgical method to precisely remove tissue2. COBLATION technology is a surgical method that precisely removes tissue. The “CO” in COBLATION stands for “controlled” and “-BLATION” is from the word “ablation”, which is the process of reducing the size of something using relative heat. COBLATION uses plasma3, a highly ionized gas, to break down tissue bonds and evaporate targeted tissue, which minimizes damage to surrounding non-target areas4.

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What parents are saying

“Like any other parent, putting our child under was very scary. The surgeon explained some of the benefits are going home with Tylenol only. This was a Friday – he said expect our child to go back to school on Monday. We did not believe him. Three hours after the surgery, my son was up, asking for a turkey sandwich and swallowing just fine. I had all the ice cream and popsicles prepared for a long road ahead and he just wanted to go out and play with his friends. And lo and behold, he was back at school by Monday. My son is just a healthy, happy four year old now.”

Lisa, parent of patient

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What physicians are saying

“Increased pain has been associated with higher risk of dehydration, bleeding, and hospital admission. Many surgeons, myself included, have focused on methods of minimizing postoperative pain based on improved tonsillectomy techniques. I have been using coblation intracapsular tonsillectomy for several years, which has substantially reduced the need for any postoperative analgesia aside from acetaminophen.”


Nina Shapiro, Surgeon, Forbes Interview

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No matter how statistically safe a procedure has proven to be, every surgery has risks. Post Tonsillectomy Hemorrhage (PTH) is a potentially serious complication that has been reported in literature for both adult and pediatric patients. It is reported to occur following use of COBLATION devices as well as following the use of other surgical devices and methods. Before making any surgical decision, you should speak with your doctor about any potential risks.

*Compared to monopolar electrocautery

COBLATION wands are contraindicated for use in patients with cardiac pacemakers or other electronic device implants.

  1. Smith+Nephew 2017. Coblation Dissection Versus Monopolar Dissection – A Systematic Review and
    Meta-analysis P/N 91999 Rev. A.
  2. Stalder KR 2005 Electrosurgical plasmas J. Phys. D: Appl Phys. 38(1728-1738).
  3. Woloszko, J 2002 Plasma Characteristics of Repetitively-Pulsed Electrical Discharges in Saline Solutions Used for Surgical Procedures IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science 30.3(1376-1383).
  4. Pre-Clinical Thermal Effects of Ablation in Bovine Heart Tissue P/N 35678-01.

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