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Laryngoscope. 2007 Mar;117(3):406-10.

Cold dissection versus coblation-assisted adenotonsillectomy in children.

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Division of Head and Neck Surgery, David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA.



To compare intraoperative efficiency and postoperative recovery between cold dissection adenotonsillectomy (CDA) and coblation-assisted adenotonsillectomy (CAA).


A prospective, randomized, single-blind trial of pediatric patients aged 2 to 16 years undergoing adenotonsillectomy was conducted. Patients were randomized to undergo either CDA or CAA. Measured intraoperative parameters included surgical duration and intraoperative blood loss. Measured postoperative parameters included a 14 day caregiver questionnaire that recorded a daily pain rating using the Wong-Baker FACES pain scale, pain medication use, days to return to a normal diet, and days to return to a normal caregiver routine. Postoperative complications were also recorded. Intraoperative and postoperative measures were statistically compared between groups.


Forty-six children with a mean age of 6.7 years (23 CDA and 23 CAA) were randomized and completed the study. Mean age and sex distributions were similar between groups (P > .05). Surgical times were significantly shorter for the CAA group versus the CDA group (11.2 min vs. 17.0 min, P < .001). Intraoperative blood loss was statistically lower for both the adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy portions of the procedure for the CAA group versus the CDA group (P < .001 and P < .001, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference in reported daily pain scores between groups (P = .296, analysis of variance). Both groups returned to normal diet (P = .982), and caregivers returned to their normal routine on similar postoperative days (P = .631).


CAA offers better operative speed and intraoperative hemostasis as compared with CDA. However, CAA does not result in poorer postoperative pain scores or recoveries despite these intraoperative advantages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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