Medicine, Farwaniya Hospital, Kuwait City, KWT. School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, GBR. School of Medical Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, GBR. Medicine, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Birmingham, GBR. Otolaryngology, Al Jahra Hospital, Al Jahra, KWT.
This study aimed to compare the outcomes of coblation versus bipolar diathermy in pediatric patients undergoing tonsillectomy. A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) Guidelines. An electronic search of information was conducted to identify all Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) comparing the outcomes of coblation versus bipolar in pediatric patients
undergoing tonsillectomy. Primary outcome measures were intraoperative bleeding, reactionary hemorrhage, delayed hemorrhage, and post-operative pain. Secondary outcome measures included a return to a normal diet, effects on the tonsillar bed, operation time, and administration of analgesia. Fixed and random-effects models were used for the analysis. Seven studies enrolling 1328 patients were identified. There was a significant difference between coblation and bipolar groups in terms of delayed hemorrhage (Odds Ratio [OR] = 0.27, P = 0.005) and post-operative pain (standardized mean difference [MD] = -2.13, P = 0.0007). Intraoperative bleeding (MD = -43.26, P = 0.11) and reactionary hemorrhage did not show any significant difference. The coblation group improved analgesia administration, diet and tonsillar tissue recovery, and thermal damage for secondary outcomes. No significant difference was reported in terms of operation time. In conclusion, coblation is comparable to a bipolar technique for pediatric patients undergoing tonsillectomy. It improves postoperative pain and delayed hemorrhage and does not worsen intraoperative bleeding and reactionary hemorrhage.