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Am J Otolaryngol. 2007 Jan-Feb;28(1):9-12.

Cochlear implant integrity after adenoidectomy with Coblation and monopolar electrosurgery.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610-0264, USA. <>



Conventional electrosurgical adenoidectomy has been deemed contraindicated in subjects with cochlear implants (CIs) because of risk to the CI and the auditory neurons. No published studies have evaluated the safety of electrosurgical adenoidectomy techniques with CIs. The goal of this study was to compare the impact of monopolar electrosurgery and Coblation radiofrequency bipolar electrosurgery on CI integrity.


Twelve fresh, cadaveric pigs received unilateral CIs, then the nasopharynx was treated for 15 to 30 minutes with continuous monopolar electrosurgery or Coblation. CIs were tested by the manufacturer for device integrity before and after treatment.


Integrity was maintained in all CIs treated with either monopolar or Coblation electrosurgery.


Although the safety of electrosurgical adenoidectomy after CI placement remains unproven, these observations suggest that judicious use of conventional monopolar and Coblation electrosurgery in adenoidectomy does not convey a serious risk to CI integrity. Theoretical considerations favor the use of Coblation over monopolar electrosurgery in CI recipients.

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