Hemorrhage Rate After Coblation Tonsillectomy: A Meta-Analysis of Published Trials

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Jun;268(6):807-16. doi: 10.1007/s00405-011-1535-9. Epub 2011 Mar 4.


After the surgical procedure of tonsillectomy, hemorrhage ranks among its serious postoperative complications. In this systematic review, we analyze hemorrhage following tonsillectomies performed using the coblation technique. 24 prospective, randomized, and controlled studies were included in the meta-analysis. Data of 796 patients who had undergone coblation tonsillectomy were analyzed. Hemorrhages occurred in 33 patients: 2 classified as primary and 26 as secondary hemorrhages. 5 could not be classified into either group. Overall, the total hemorrhage rate for the coblation procedure was 4.1% with a 95% confidence interval from 2.8 to 5.5%. The overall hemorrhage rate of 4.1% found in this meta-analysis shows that coblation is a safe and effective technique for tonsillectomies with a secondary bleeding rate similar to what is reported for comparable techniques such as bipolar diathermia.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Periodicals as Topic*
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Tonsillectomy / methods*