New Studies Highlight Benefits of Coblation(R)-Assisted Procedures in Airway Fire Prevention and Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Thursday, September 25, 2008 General News
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CHICAGO, Sept. 24 In studies presented this week at theAmerican Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Annual Meeting,researchers found that Coblation(R)-assisted procedures eliminated the risk ofairway fires, and Coblation(R)-Assisted Sinus Surgery (CASS) procedureslowered the risk of blood loss in nasal polypectomy/endoscopic sinus surgery(ESS).

Results of a study, sponsored by ArthroCare and entitled, "Device-RelatedRisk of Airway Fire in Oropharyngeal Surgery," presented today on the podiumby Soham Roy, MD, a member of ArthroCare's Strategic Advisory Board for itsENT division, and Lee Smith, MD, compared the risk of airway fire foran electrosurgical device (Bovie) and a bipolar radiofrequency ablation wand(Coblator(R)) in a mechanical chicken cavity model. Their study found that therisk of airway fire appeared to be eliminated with Coblation, whileelectrosurgical devices, such as Bovie, present a significant risk of fireduring open cavity surgery in oxygen-enriched environments. All experimentalconditions were tested for four minutes, or until a positive result wasachieved and were repeated in another model to ensure accuracy.

"Intraoperative fires are a well-described and devastating complication oforopharyngeal and airway surgery, some leading to severe injury and/or death,"said Dr. Roy, lead investigator of the study from Children's ENT of Houstonand Texas ENT Consultants. "We are currently conducting further investigationsto determine the risk of airway fire with other surgical modalities, includinglaser, which is commonly used in ENT procedures."

At the American Rhinologic Society Fall Meeting, conducted in tandem withAAO-HNS, a study, entitled "Effect of Coblation Polypectomy on Estimated BloodLoss in Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (ESS): A Pilot Study," found that CASS wasassociated with a statistically significant lower estimated blood loss andblood loss per minute when compared to traditional microdebridement technique.

Surgical management of refractory chronic rhinosinusitis with nasalpolyposis is typically successfully performed using ESS.(1.,2.) "Despitenumerous advances in surgical instrumentation and optical aids, intraoperativehemorrhage remains a major hurtle in ESS with sinonasal polyposis," said JoseW. Ruiz, III, MD, investigator of the study and assistant professor at theUniversity of Miami, Department of Otolaryngology. "Since adopting Coblation,reduced blood loss and improved surgical visualization have reduced ourconcern for complications, including orbital and intracranial injuries." Thestudy concluded that Coblation represents a viable alternative tomicrodebridement for patients with nasal polyps undergoing ESS as it resultedin better visualization as a result of better homeostasis. The study was aretrospective analysis of 25 patients with nasal polyposis undergoing ESS andwas conducted by investigators Jean Anderson Eloy, MD, Thomas J. Walker, MD,Roy R. Casiano, MD and Jose W. Ruiz, III, MD.

The Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and NeckSurgery (AAO-HNS) runs from September 21-24, 2008 at the McCormick PlaceConvention Center in Chicago, IL.


Founded in 1993, ArthroCare Corporation ( is ahighly innovative, multi-business medical device company that develops,manufactures and markets minimally invasive surgical products. With theseproducts, ArthroCare targets a multi-billion dollar market opportunity acrossseveral medical specialties, significantly improving existing surgicalprocedures and enabling new, minimally invasive procedures. Many ofArthroCare's products are based on its patented Coblation(R) technology, whichuses low-temperature radiofrequency energy to gently and precisely dissolverather than burn soft tissue -- minimizing damage to healthy tissue. Used inmore than four million surgeries worldwide, Cobl

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