Obstructive Sleep Apnoea in Children
Coblation is a technology which combines ablation and coagulation. Ablation melts away the tonsil tissue at the molecular level and coagulation stops the bleeding.
Coblation is really cool. The standard method of dissecting out tonsils relies on diathermy which operates at 400-600°C. Diathermy causes a thermal injury with vapourisation of the tonsil. In addition, the heat dissipated damages surrounding tissues. Coblation uses radiofrequency energy with saline to produce a plasma field. Coblation runs at 40-70°C removing tissue at the molecule level and causing very little bystander damage.
Unlike diathermy which can produce sparks, Coblation does not produce an ignition source for potential airway fires.
There are two ways Coblation can be used to remove tonsils. For over a decade, the established way has been to dissect the tonsils out of their beds with their capsules. This is called extracapsular Coblation tonsillectomy (see video).
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