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Sanford Ear, Nose & Throat
Coblation tonsillectomies, a gentle alternative for removing tonsils that reduces pain and recovery time up to 70 percent, are now available at Sanford Health. Unlike harsh traditional tonsillectomy procedures, coblation combines gentle radio frequency energy with natural saline to quickly remove tonsils. The newer procedure results in less pain after surgery and quicker recoveries. In many cases, children who have the procedures on Friday are back to school on Monday.
Sometimes the tonsils and/or the adenoids are so enlarged that they block the throat and breathing airway. This can cause difficulty breathing and other serious health problems. A child's doctor may call this condition tonsillar hypertrophy or obstruction.
While helping the body fight off germs, the tonsils and adenoids may also get infected. If the infection is great enough to cause inflammation, this condition is called tonsillitis.top
Sleep-disordered breathing is a condition in which people do not breathe properly while sleeping. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that causes a blockage in the airway during sleep causing breathing to stop. OSA is usually chronic, causing breathing to stop several times during the night.
Symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing may include in children younger than five:
In addition to these, in children older than five symptoms include:
However, there is good news. Studies have shown that after undergoing tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy for obstructive symptoms, many of these problems could be resolved.
Viruses and bacteria can cause tonsillitis. A weak immune system may also lead to tonsil infection. Almost all children get at least one tonsil infection in their lifetime.
Infections in the tonsils and adenoids that keep coming back are called chronic infections. If these infections are not stopped, they could cause more serious health problems.
A child's doctor may first prescribe antibiotics to fight infections. If antibiotics do not work, the doctor may recommend tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy. Removing the tonsils and/or adenoids helps to prevent infections from coming back.
Doctors typically recommend removing the tonsils for chronic tonsillitis based on the following guidelines:
Coblation Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy is a gentler way to remove both the tonsils and adenoids. This innovative surgery results in very little pain and fast recovery for patients.
Derived from the term "controlled ablation," Coblation removes or ablates tonsil tissue with little harm to surrounding healthy tissue.
Coblation is not a heat-driven process, therefore it does not char or burn healthy tissue like conventional electrosurgery and laser surgery. It combines radiofrequency energy with a natural saline solution to gently and precisely remove tissue leading to a fast and easier recovery.
Coblation technology has been used in more than 2 million surgeries, including more than 500,000 ear, nose and throat surgeries.top
All tonsillectomy procedures have the same general risks. Parents should consult a physician about the possible risks and complications that may result from a procedure involving general anesthesia.
References: 1Stoker K, Don D, Kang R, Haupert M, Madgy D. Total Tonsillectomy with Coblation Compared to Conventional Electrocautery in Pediatric Patients. Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 2004; 130 (6): 666-675. 2Temple RH, Timms MS. Paediatric coblation tonsillectomy. Int J Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2001;61:195-198. 3Timms MS, Temple RH. Coblation tonsillectomy: a double blind randomized controlled study. J Laryngology & Otology. 2002;116:450-452.