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Laryngoscope. 2014 Aug;124(8):1959-64. doi: 10.1002/lary.24632. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Coblation total tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy versus coblation partial intracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in children.

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Department of Head and Neck Surgery, David E. Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.



To evaluate the postoperative course of children who underwent coblation T&A versus those who underwent coblation partial intracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (PITA).


Retrospective cohort study.


Records of children undergoing consecutive tonsillectomies from July 2009 to October 2012 were analyzed. All surgeries used a coblation device. Outcomes including intraoperative and postoperative bleeding, pain, and return to preoperative diet were analyzed comparing the coblation T&A and coblation PITA patients.


Of 415 patients evaluated, 258 (62.2%) underwent coblation T&A and 157 (37.8%) underwent coblation PITA. Seventeen (4.1%) patients experienced postoperative hemorrhage, 15 (88.2%) of whom underwent T&A and two (11.8%) of whom underwent PITA (P = 0.024). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that coblation T&A was a significant contributor to postoperative hemorrhage, with an odds ratio of 4.8 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08-21.21) compared to coblation PITA. Patients who underwent T&A resumed normal diets significantly later (8 days, SD 4.6) than those who underwent PITA (5.4 days, standard deviation [SD]: 3.4) (P = 0.022). In terms of pain severity, more T&A patients reported "severe" pain and more PITA patients reported "moderate" pain (P = 0.047). More T&A patients experienced a "post-op dip," defined as increased pain during postoperative days 5-9, than did PITA patients (P < 0.001).


Coblation PITA is a safe procedure that has a lower incidence of intraoperative and postoperative bleeding in children compared to coblation T&A. Patients may have less pain and return to preoperative diets sooner than those undergoing coblation T&A.


Adenotonsillectomy; coblation; partial intracapsular tonsillectomy; pediatric; posttonsillectomy hemorrhage

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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