European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 270, Issue 1, pp 339–344 | Cite as

Post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage in children: a single surgeon’s experience with coblation compared to diathermy

  • Jeong-Whun Kim
  • Sue Jean Mun
  • Woo-Hyun Lee
  • Ji-Hun Mo


The aim of this study was to compare coblation and diathermy techniques with respect to secondary post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage (PTH). A total of 1,397 children underwent tonsillectomies with or without adenoidectomy by a single surgeon in a single center from June 2005 through December 2011. A diathermy tonsillectomy was performed on 315 patients for the first 2 years, while a coblation tonsillectomy was performed on 1,082 for the next 5 years. All patients were followed-up within 28 days of surgery by the same surgeon. The characteristics of primary and secondary PTH were analyzed with a retrospective chart review. Primary PTH did not occur in both surgical technique groups. Secondary PTH occurred in 9 patients (2.9 %) in the diathermy group and in 30 patients (2.8 %) in the coblation group. The secondary PTH rates were 1.2, 2.5, 3.8, 3.1 and 4.5 % in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth years after employment of the coblation tonsillectomy, respectively (P = 0.243). Sex, age, tonsil size and severity of tonsillar embedding were not significant factors for PTH. The coblation technique was associated more with late secondary PTH than diathermy technique (odds ratio 9.14, P = 0.049). Analysis of the time of onset of PTH showed that secondary PTH occurred most commonly between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. In summary, coblation technique has similar secondary PTH rate with diathermy technique although it has increased late secondary PTH rate in children. Coblation technique can be a good alternative to the diathermy technique.


Tonsillectomy Hemorrhage Diathermy Coblation Children Bias 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeong-Whun Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sue Jean Mun
    • 1
    • 3
  • Woo-Hyun Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ji-Hun Mo
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of OtorhinolaryngologySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Seoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnamSouth Korea
  3. 3.Seoul National University HospitalSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyDankook University College of MedicineCheonanSouth Korea

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