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Coblation tonsillectomy versus cold steel dissection tonsillectomy: a morphological study

  • N Lieberg (a1), M Aunapuu (a2) and A Arend (a2)



To compare the extent of tissue damage produced by conventional cold steel and coblation tonsillectomy.


Twenty patients underwent conventional and 18 underwent coblation tonsillectomy. The removed tonsils were histopathologically evaluated.


Analgesic use was lower in the coblation group during the early post-operative period. Histological investigation of tonsils removed by the conventional method showed intensive haemorrhage and hyperaemia in the tonsillar capsules, which was not seen in the coblation group. Furthermore, in the coblation group, there was less mast cell degranulation (p = 0.0081) and a smaller amount of skeletal muscle tissue (p = 0.0043) in the tonsillar capsules, indicating less tissue damage.


Compared to the cold steel technique, coblation tonsillectomy is superior in terms of less early post-operative pain and less damage to surrounding tissues. Significantly lower mast cell degranulation in coblation tonsillectomy may contribute to the reduction of post-operative pain.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Dr Andres Arend, Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, Department of Anatomy, University of Tartu, 19 Ravila Street, Tartu 50411, Estonia E-mail:


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Dr A Arend takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper



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