What is COBLATION technology?

COBLATION technology is a surgical method that precisely removes tissue, such as tonsils or adenoids. 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 low amounts of heat.

This plasma stays at a relatively low temperature as it dissolves tissue. While other devices, such as electrocautery, use high temperatures to cut and cauterize tissue1, the COBLATION plasma field removes tissue while minimizing damage to surrounding areas.

COBLATION technology is used in a COBLATION tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy.

How COBLATION technology is used for tonsillectomy

A COBLATION tonsillectomy is the use of a coblation wand to remove the tonsils. For years, surgeons and patients have searched for a way to minimize the pain of removing the tonsils.

Because of the delicate location of the tonsils in the throat, removing them with an electrosurgery device can often lead to painful damage of nearby tissue2-5. COBLATION technology, by using a precise, lower temperature plasma field, gives surgeons the ability to remove targeted tonsil tissue while preserving the nearby healthy tissue2-4, 6.

There are two methods of COBLATION tonsillectomy: intracapsular tonsillectomy, known as CIT, or extracapsular tonsillectomy, also known as total tonsillectomy. Both of these techniques can be done with COBLATION technology, and have proven, favorable outcomes for patients and physicians alike2-10.

Speak with a qualified ENT doctor to see if COBLATION tonsillectomy is right for your child.

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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.

The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient’s case is unique, results will vary, and each patient should follow his or her doctor’s specific instructions. Please talk to your doctor to determine what treatment may be best for you.

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

  1. Harley et al. “Coblation vs Monopolar Dissection – A systematic review and meta-analysis”, submitted for publication 7/17/17, internal P/N 91999
  2. Magdy EA, Elwany S, El-Daly AS, Abdel-Hadi M, Morshedy MA. Coblation tonsillectomy: a prospective, double-blind, randomised, clinical and histopathological comparison with dissection–ligation, monopolar electrocautery and laser tonsillectomies. J Laryngol Otol. 2008;122(3):282 – 290.
  3. Smith+Nephew 2010. PROCISE LW & MLW, Thermal Measurement and Comparison to CO2 and KTP Laser Systems. Internal Report. P/N 86257 Rev. A.
  4. Smith+Nephew 2010. PROcise XP Comparative Thermal Measurement Bench-Top Study. Internal Report. P/N 60736-01 Rev. A.
  5. Smith+Nephew 2017. Coblation Dissection Versus Monopolar Dissection – A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Internal Report. P/N 91999.
  6. Roje Z, Racic G, Dogas Z, Pisac VP, Timms MS. Postoperative Morbidity and Histopathologic Characteristics of Tonsillar Tissue Following Coblation Tonsillectomy in Children: A Prospective Randomized Single-Blind Study. Coll Antropol. 2009;33(1):293 – 298.
  7. Temple RH, Timms MS. Paediatric coblation tonsillectomy. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2001;61(3):195 – 198.
  8. Ahmad MU, Wardak AN, Hampton T, Siddiqui MRS, Street I. Coblation versus cold dissection in paediatric tonsillectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Laryngol Otol. 2020;134(3):197 – 204.
  9. Omrani M, Barati B, Omidifar N, Okhovvat AR, Hashemi SAG. Coblation versus traditional tonsillectomy: A double blind randomized controlled trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012;17(1):45 – 50.
  10. Francis DO, Fonnesbeck C, Sathe N, McPheeters M, Krishnaswami S, Chinnadurai S. Postoperative Bleeding and Associated Utilization Following Tonsillectomy in Children: A Systematic Review and MetaAnalysis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017;156:442 – 455.

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