Make a Referral Make an Appointment More Information

Replay of: Advanced Pediatric Tonsillectomy Procedure Performed Live at Georgetown University Hospital

First Seen: February 23, 2004
Noon EST (17:00 UTC)

Pediatric Tonsillectomy


WASHINGTON, D.C.— An Internet audience was able to view a live tonsillectomy procedure, called Coblation®, performed on a pediatric patient by Dr. Earl Harley, Associate Professor and Attending Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Georgetown University Hospital on Monday, February 23 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time (9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time).

Derived from the words “controlled ablation,” Coblation uses radiofrequency energy to convert saline solution into a precisely focused plasma. The energized particles in this plasma have sufficient energy to break molecular bonds, excising or dissolving soft tissue at relatively low temperatures (typically 40°C to 70°C), thereby preserving the integrity of surrounding healthy tissue.
Pediatric Tonsillectomy Procedure

An electrocautery device called a “bovie” is the device most commonly used to remove tonsils. Bovies use high temperatures (400°C to 600°C) to remove tissue, which burns and chars surrounding tissue, and frequently leads to significant post-operative pain and long recovery periods.

“I switched from the bovie technique to Coblation for tonsillectomy because I found that my patients experience less post-operative pain and a quicker post-operative recovery time with this newer technique,” said Dr. Harley. “Following the procedure, patients have been able to eat and drink just a few hours after surgery, requiring less pain medication and allowing them to return to their normal activities sooner.”

A camera crew staffed this Web cast with complete access to the operating theater and live audio featured from within the operating room. While Dr. Harley performed the surgery, Dr. Norman Sanders, Medical Director for ArthroCare Corporation, the company that manufactures the Coblation devices, provided additional commentary on the procedure and handled e-mail questions from viewers.

Tonsils are oval-shaped masses of lymphatic tissue located at the back of the throat which aid the body in fighting infections. Approximately 500,000 tonsillectomies are performed on children each year, making it the second most common childhood surgery performed in the United States. Although tonsils may need to be removed because of repeated infections, they are more likely to be taken out because they’ve grown too large for the child’s airway, which can result in snoring and other breathing disorders and may affect quality of sleep.

The month of February is Kid’s ENT month, sponsored by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, a time to educate parents and physicians about the most common childhood illnesses of the ear, nose and throat. Considering the prevalence of tonsillectomies each year, advanced procedures such as Coblation, which have demonstrated improved clinical outcomes for children, are important to highlight.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared for use in tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy procedures in July 2001. Since the first Coblation tonsillectomy was performed in January 2000, physicians have performed more than 80,000 procedures worldwide.

For more information, contact:

Alex Fraser
(860)-953-2900 x214

Marianne Worley
Georgetown University Hospital

Timms MS, Temple RH. Coblation Tonsillectomy: a double blind randomized controlled study. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 2002: 116: 450-452

The webcast uses Realplayer to display both video and synchronized slides in side by side windows. Viewers can download a free copy of the player here.

It is not necessary to purchase any of Real's premium players or subscription plans. The free basic player is all that is required to view the surgery.


View Webcast
View Program Preview


Event LaunchSite© slp3D, Inc., 2004