Laser Surgery in Schuylkill Haven, PA

What are lasers?

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation is the acronym for LASER. A laser is an optoelectronic device that emits extremely focused beams of light. From milliWatts (in CD-ROM drives and laser pointers) to hundreds of Watts (in industrial and medical applications) and beyond trillions of Watts, laser power may vary widely (pulsed lasers in scientific and military applications).

What is laser surgery?

The interaction of laser light with tissue offers a fundamentally distinct surgical approach. A highly concentrated laser beam may efficiently ablate (either evaporate or chip away) live tissue during laser surgery. Simultaneously, it closes (welds) capillaries, tiny blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerve endings, with substantial benefits for both patients and surgeons.

What is the most efficient soft-tissue surgical laser?

Certain types of lasers distinguish Soft Tissue Laser Surgery from Hard Tissue Laser Surgery (bones and teeth in dentistry) and Laser Eye Surgery (eyesight correction operations). The wavelength of light that lasers emit differentiates them from one another. The CO2 laser is the most often used surgical laser in soft tissue surgery. The wavelength of the CO2 laser (10.6 micrometers) is strongly absorbed by the water in soft tissue. Since the 1960s, the CO2 surgical laser has been the most efficient and dominating soft tissue surgical laser due to its exceptional adaptability and accuracy. Laser surgery is widely utilized in a variety of human and veterinary medical purposes.

..laser surgery offers better hemostasis and visibility, less post-operative swelling, and decreased post-operative pain. In certain procedures, better hemostasis and visibility will reduce overall surgical time.

Timothy L. Holt, DVM and Fred A Mann, DVM, MS
“Soft Tissue Application of Lasers” Vet Clin Small Anim 32 (2002) 569-599, Elsevier Science (USA)

Laser surgery benefits for patients

Reduced Bleeding: As the laser cuts, it shuts tiny blood vessels.
This dramatic decrease in blood loss permits several innovative surgical operations that would not be feasible with a traditional scalpel.

Less Discomfort: Since the CO2 laser beam closes nerve endings and lymphatics, edema and pain are reduced.
The patient recovers far more comfortably after surgery.

Reduced danger of infection is one of the CO2 laser beam’s distinctive characteristics.
It effectively eliminates microorganisms in its course, creating a sterile environment.

Reduced risk of infection, less blood, less discomfort, and less edema frequently result in a much speedier recovery period following surgery.

Veterinary Laser Surgery

The carbon dioxide laser is a very effective tool for treating diseases of the perianal region. The skin of the perianal region is thin and sensitive. The carbon dioxide laser offers a ‘no-touch’ method of excising these lesions, which helps decrease postoperative discomfort and irritation. The carbon dioxide laser is very effective in controlling hemorrhage from vessels smaller than 0.5 mm. This is sufficient in controlling most hemorrhage caused by the rich blood supply of the perianal region. The perianal region is contaminated with bacteria. The carbon dioxide laser photothermally vaporizes bacteria, so that bacterial numbers are decreased, which helps reduce the risk of postoperative infections. These factors help the patient recover quicker and return to function sooner.

The light emitted from a carbon dioxide laser has a wavelength of 10,600 nm, which is in the far-infrared light spectrum. This wavelength of light is highly absorbed by water, creating a thermal effect. Because all soft tissues in the body are composed mainly of water, the carbon dioxide laser penetrates very shallowly into the tissue, and there is very little collateral thermal damage. This interaction makes the carbon dioxide laser a useful tool for incising, excising, and photoablating soft tissue and allows for fine, controlled dissection of tissue. The axiom of ‘what you see is what you get’ applies to the properties of the carbon dioxide laser. Finally, the carbon dioxide laser seems to have a lower learning curve when compared with other types of lasers.

Bert A. Shelley, DVM, MS
“Use of the carbon dioxide laser for perianal and rectal surgery.” Vet Clin Small Anim 32 (2002) 621-637, Elsevier Science (USA)