Pediatric tonsillectomy: PlasmaKnife vs. Coblator

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Objectives: Compare PlasmaKnife versus Coblator tonsillectomy in children in terms of peri-operative effectiveness and post-operative clinical outcomes. Study Design: Retrospective randomized single-blinded study. Methods: Medical records from children receiving PlasmaKnife versus Coblator tonsillectomy between May 14, 2007 and January 1, 2008 at a university affiliated tertiary care center were compared for operative time, blood loss, and post-operative complications. Statistical analysis used Student's t-test and chisquared test. Results: 164 patients were identified and 108 were included in the study. The most common reason for exclusion was inadequate follow-up. 57 patients underwent PlasmaKnife tonsillectomy (44% female, 56% male, average age: 6.8 years) and 51 patients underwent Coblator tonsillectomy (48% female, 52% male, average age: 6.5 years). The blood loss and duration of surgery were comparable between both techniques. Post-operative bleeding occurred in four PlasmaKnife (7.0%) and one Coblator tonsillectomy patient (1.9%) (p<0.01) Conclusions: In this pilot study comparing Coblation and PlasmaKnife tonsillectomy, results are comparable except for operative time and post-operative bleeding. The drawbacks of the study include small sample size, short period of follow-up, and a learning curve for use of PlasmaKnife versus years of experience with Coblation. These results warrant further investigation to better characterize potential benefits of PlasmaKnife tonsillectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S144
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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