Coblation is a surgical technology which consists in delivering radiofrequency energy to soft tissue. This technology uses radiofrequency in a bipolar mode with a conductive solution, such as saline (1). It energizes the ions in the saline to form localized plasma near the tissue placed in the area of surgical interest. Plasmas energy dissociates water molecules from saline solution thus providing the optimal chemical conditions for breaking the tissues molecular bonds (2).
The application of this technology has three effects: tissue ablation, localized removal and tissue volumetric reduction (2). The dissipated heat by using this type of radiosurgery is significantly lower than common radiofrequency techniques. This is due to intrinsic of the chemical process and the continuous cooling of the tissue from the surrounding saline solution at the level of the instruments tip (3). In this way the temperature rises to 45-85°C (1, 2). The decreased thermal effect of coblation, better than classic radiosurgery, induces a gentle but efficient surgical effect in the target area. Thus the surgeon can gently remove tumors, small organs (tonsils) and can melt some anatomical structures (turbinate, palate, base of tongue). There is a large field of surgical applications in the pathology of the upper aero digestive tract.