Tech Advances for Tonsillectomy Not Necessarily Better

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , June 22, 2011

"The main finding of this meta analysis of randomized clinical trials is that Coblation and HS tonsillectomy techniques that have been used during the past decade in an attempt to decrease postoperative morbidity in terms of pain and bleeding do not provide any significant advantage over the conventional CS/EC technique," they wrote.

The only outcome that differed significantly in tonsillectomies performed using HS compared with those using CS/EC was peri-operative bleeding, which has no measurable clinical significance, they said. Comparing HS and Coblation. "In all outcomes, HS and Coblation were at least equivalent to the conventional technique.

Many studies have been published regarding the use of all these surgical techniques and devices. However, the reported results are, in many cases, "conflicting and controversial," they wrote. 

In conclusion, despite its limitations, this meta-analysis provides evidence that the use of Coblation and HS for tonsillectomy is equivalent to the use of conventional CS/ES technique. However, they emphasized, "surgeon experience, training and preferences as well as cost-effectiveness criteria, should be considered."

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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