What Is Coblation®?

Coblation procedureCoblation technology is used to treat cancerous spinal tumors that typically lead to vertebral compression fractures. Compression fractures occur when the body of the vertebra is weakened, causing the bone to collapse, break and lose its ability to stabilize and support the spine. Coblation treatment focuses on removing the cancerous tissue by gently dissolving it, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This procedure can then be followed by vertebroplasty, which focuses on relieving pain, and restoring and maintaining spinal stability.

Coblation may be used when a patient has inflammation and pain due to pushing on nerves and tissues, or because of a compression fracture, which causes pain described as persistent (chronic), intolerable and unrelenting.

What Are the Benefits and Risks?
Benefits
Compared to surgical interventions, Coblation is minimally invasive, so there is no open surgery and no large scars following the procedure. It is usually performed through a small nick the size of a pencil’s tip using local anesthesia, so no general anesthetic is required in the majority of patients. Risk and recovery time are often significantly reduced. Coblation reduces pain and increases stability of vertebrae. Other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, can continue.

Risks
Any procedure where the skin is penetrated carries a risk of infection.

What to Expect
Coblation analysisPrior to appointments, Gwinnett Medical Center patients are asked to come in for routine lab work. It is preferred that patients have their lab work performed at Gwinnett Medical Center so the radiology nurses have access to the results. Our radiology nurses call each patient shortly after the procedure is scheduled to obtain a health history and provide instructions.

For most interventional radiology exams, patients need to arrive in admissions two hours before their scheduled procedure time on the day of the exam. Patients will check in at admissions before being taken to the Imaging Nursing Unit, where an interventional radiologist will come to talk with the patient before the procedure. The patient will then be prepped for the exam and taken to the Interventional Radiology Suite for the procedure. Following the procedure, the patient will return to the Imaging Nursing Unit for recovery. The recovery time varies based on the procedure. After the patient is then discharged, he or she will receive a follow-up call the next day.

Call 678-312-3444 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Lawrenceville, Duluth or Hamilton Mill.