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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1995 Feb;95(2):305-12.

Does the pulsed tunable dye laser have a role in the management of infantile hemangiomas? Observations based on 3 years' experience.

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  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, at St. John's Hospital at Howden, Livingston, Scotland.


Over a 3-year period, 50 patients with strawberry hemangiomas and 7 patients with postinvolutional redness or telangiectasia were treated with the SPTL-1 laser (Candela Corporation, Wayland, Mass.). The SPTL-1 laser emits pulsed light at a wavelength of 585 nm with a pulse duration of 450 ms. Lesions with a superficial red component were treated even if they had a significant subcutaneous component; however, wholly subcutaneous lesions were excluded. The series included 42 female patients aged between 1 and 72 months (mean 14 months) and 8 male patients aged between 3 and 12 months (mean 7 months). The mean number of treatments administered was 3.8 (range 1 to 8), and the average number of pulses per patient was 55 (range 2 to 350). This series also included 7 patients (6 female and 1 male) with postinvolutional redness or telangiectasia with a mean age of 12 years (range 2 to 23 years). They received an average of 3.4 treatments per patient (range 2 to 8) with an average of 35 pulses per treatment session (range 3 to 150). In this study group, life-threatening complications secondary to the hemangioma were rare in that only one patient suffered from an airway obstruction requiring a tracheostomy and three patients suffered from complete visual occlusion. A significant improvement in color was achieved in 30 patients (53 percent), but there was no appreciable reduction in bulk in any of the lesions despite repeated exposure to laser light.

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