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What Is CoblationTM?

CoblationTM is a new method for removing and or reducing the volume of the soft tissue, enabling rapid and precise tissue removal with little or no damage to the surrounding tissue. This may be associated with a number of surgical and clinical advantages, including better operative results, reduced surgical time, and less post-operative pain.  

How is CoblationTM treatment performed?

Just like SomnoplastyTM/SM, the procedure is done under local anesthesia.  First, a small packing is soaked in a mixture of topical anesthesia and decongestant and placed in each nostril in preparation for local anesthesia. Next, a small amount of local anesthesia is delivered to the site.  The Hummingbird Coblator tip is dipped in saline gel. The tip is placed over the swollen and affected tissue by pressing the foot control and advancing the tip. A small channel is created within the tissue and within 10-15 seconds the tissue volume is reduced.  A small packing is replaced in each nostril and kept for several minutes.  Patients are generally discharged to return to work immediately after surgery. 

How long has CoblationTM treatments been performed for chronic nasal congestion?

The application of the CoblationTM for the treatment of chronic nasal congestion and snoring started in July 1999. However, electrosurgical equipment and techniques have been used in medicine for about 100 years.  First, practitioners thought that passing currents through the body (Diathermy) has certain healing properties. Seventy years ago, RF energy was first used as a cauterizing device in general surgery.

More recently, RF energy has been used to treat supraventiricular arrhythmia in non-invasion cardiology and for rhizotomy procedures in neurology to reduce muscle contraction.  RF energy has been used successfully for treatment of prostate tumors. While highly useful and effective, some of these instruments generate extreme heat that can produce collateral damage to surrounding tissue.

Lasers were introduced in mid 20th century. They offered a number of benefits over electrosurgery and have gained widespread use for treatment of many illnesses and medical conditions including snoring and mild sleep apnea. However, the most recent radiofrequency treatment including SomnoplastyTM/SM and CoblationTM are promising minimally invasive techniques with the least amount of pain and at the same time with excellent results. Although further studies are required for both systems, in nasal turbinate surgery, radiofrequency energy is our number one choice of treatment.

CoblationTM is a registered trademark of ArthroCare Corporation and SomnoplastyTM/SM is a registered trademark of Somnus Medical Technologies.