Tonsillectomy is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in children, with almost 300,000 tonsillectomies performed annually in the United States1. There are two common indications for tonsillectomy: chronic or recurrent tonsillitis and sleep disordered breathing (SDB) or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
While up to 15% of children have SDB/OSA in some form, 90% of cases go undiagnosed due to symptoms being attributable to other behavioral or psychological conditions, such as ADHD2. Diagnosing and treating SDB/OSA is important to protecting the cognitive development, growth, cardiovascular health, and other factors of a child’s development3. The key symptoms are snoring, bedwetting an unusual amount, learning difficulties, and more.
Chronic or recurrent tonsillitis remains important to diagnose and treat due to patient discomfort and infective nature of the condition. There are numerous symptoms that indicate tonsillitis, such as fever, sore throat, bad breath, tonsil stones, snoring, and more.
There are two options for technique when planning a tonsillectomy: extracapsular, known as total tonsillectomy, and intracapsular tonsillectomy.
A total tonsillectomy involves the complete removal of all tonsil tissue in the throat, including the lymphatic tissue of the tonsil and the capsule underneath. When performing a total tonsillectomy, choice of technology can have an impact on patient outcomes*12-15.
COBLATION technology, by using a precise, lower temperature plasma field, gives surgeons the ability to remove targeted tonsil tissue while preserving the nearby healthy tissue16-19.
COBLATION tonsillectomies result in significantly less painful recovery post-operatively**12, 16-18 compared to other techniques, and result in a low rate of post tonsillectomy hemorrhage (PTH) and readmission20. There are a variety of wands to suit different surgical preferences, all of which operate at lower temperatures than other instruments such as electrocautery, leading to less thermal damage and less painful recovery*12-15.
There are several technologies and techniques to choose from when performing a tonsillectomy. One option is an electrosurgery device, which generates very high temperatures to rupture cells and vaporize tissue, which may cause significant damage such as burning and charring6-8.
On the other hand, there is COBLATION technology, which, unlike electrosurgery, generates significantly lower temperatures on contacted tissue6-9. This gives surgeons the ability to precisely remove targeted tonsil tissue while preserving the nearby healthy tissue16, 19.
Through the integration of saline delivery and suction, COBLATION technology creates an ideal plasma layer for tonsil and adenoid removal. Each COBLATION wand is equipped with the ability to ablate tissue and coagulate blood vessels, all in one device14, 16, 21-24.
Contact us to learn more about COBLATION technology for tonsillectomy.
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, bipolar and cold dissection; p<0.001
**Compared to monopolar electrocautery; p<0.001
COBLATION wands are contraindicated for use in patients with cardiac pacemakers or other electronic device implants.
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