We introduce a novel and potentially effective approach in the treatment of tonsil stones using Coblation technology. A retrospective pilot case series was performed demonstrating the effectiveness of a technique that we call Coblation tonsil cryptolysis. This technique is unique in that it can be performed in adult patients without sedation using only local anesthesia, much like laser tonsil cryptolysis. As with laser cryptolysis, pain is significant for only a few days and most adults can resume normal diet and activity within 1 week. In contrast, tonsillectomy entails significant morbidity for several weeks. However, Coblation avoids the significant disadvantages of laser use, including the potential for airway fire, retinal damage from reflected scatter, dealing with plume from vaporized tissues, oral/facial burns, and the high cost of purchasing and maintaining laser equipment. After a single session of Coblation tonsil cryptolysis, a significant decrease and even elimination of tonsil stones can potentially be achieved.
Historically, treatment options for tonsil stones, or tonsilloliths, have been limited. Current available options include surgical tonsillectomy, which is the only known cure for this problem, and more conservative management with gargles and manual tonsillar massage.
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