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Cost-effectiveness of Coblation compared with cold steel tonsillectomies in the UK

  • J F Guest (a1) (a2), K Rana (a1) and C Hopkins (a3)

This study aimed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of Coblation compared with cold steel tonsillectomy in adult and paediatric patients in the UK.


Decision analysis was undertaken by combining published clinical outcomes with resource utilisation estimates derived from a panel of clinicians.


Using a cold steel procedure instead of Coblation is expected to generate an incremental cost of more than £2000 for each additional avoided haemorrhage, and the probability of cold steel being cost-effective was approximately 0.50. Therefore, the cost-effectiveness of the two techniques was comparable. When the published clinical outcomes were replaced with clinicians’ estimates of current practice, Coblation was found to improve outcome for less cost, and the probability of Coblation being cost-effective was at least 0.70.


A best-case scenario suggests Coblation affords the National Health Service a cost-effective intervention for tonsillectomy in adult and paediatric patients compared with cold steel procedures. A worst-case scenario suggests Coblation affords the National Health Service an equivalent cost-effective intervention for adult and paediatric patients.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Professor Julian F Guest, Catalyst Health Economics Consultants, 7 Gilham Court, Ebury Road, Rickmansworth WD3 1FZ, UK E-mail: Fax: +44 (0)1923 450046
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Prof J F Guest takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

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