Coblation technology — a controlled, non-heat driven process — uses radiofrequency energy to excite the electrolytes in a conductive medium, such as saline solution, creating a precisely focused plasma.

The plasma’s energized particles have sufficient energy to break molecular bond within tissue, causing tissue to dissolve at relatively low temperatures (typically 40°C to 70°C). The result is volumetric removal of target tissue with minimal damage surrounding tissue. Many Coblation devices also are designed to stop blood (hemostasis) and coagulate or seal bleeding vessels.

Cooler Temperatures
Because radiofrequency current does not pass directly through tissue during the Coblation process, tissue heating is minimal. Most of the heat is consumed in the plasma layer, or in other words, by the ionization process. These ions then bombard tissue in their path, causing molecular bonds to simply break apart and tissue to dissolve.

Coblation-based Devices Conventional Electrosurgical Devices
Temperatures 40°C to 70°C MORE THAN 400°C
Minimal Deep
Effects on
target tissue
Gentle removal, dissolution Rapid heating, charring, burning, cutting
Effects on
surrounding tissue
Minimal dissolution Inadvertent charring or burning

The technique is used in turbinate reduction, adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy, palatoplasty and tongue base reduction.

The information is courtesy of ArthroCare the makers of the Coblation Technique.