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Lasers Surg Med. 2012 Oct;44(8):653-63. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22061. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Angular effect of optical fiber movement on endoscopic laser prostatectomy.

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Laser Therapy Research, American Medical Systems, San Jose, California 95134, USA.



The optimal fiber manipulation during laser prostatectomy has been highlighted as a critical element to achieve desirable clinical outcomes. However, scientific understanding of the physical interplay between fiber movement and ablative tissue response is still lacking. The objective of this study was to quantitatively investigate the effect of angular movement of an optical fiber on tissue ablation performance.


Porcine kidney was employed as a tissue model in vitro. A 180 W 532 nm surgical laser with 750 µm side-firing fibers was utilized to mimic clinical laser prostatectomy. The effect of fiber manipulation parameters on the tissue such as irradiance, number of overlapping pulses (OP), and beam path length (BPL) was assessed at various fiber sweeping (rotational) angles ranging from 0° to 120°. Morphological properties of the post-irradiated tissue were also evaluated in light of ablation depth, coagulative necrosis, and volumetric ablation density (VAD).


As sweeping angle (SA) increased, both laser irradiance and number of OP decreased but BPL increased. Ablation depth was maximized (5.4 ± 1.0 mm) at SAs less than 30° but decreased at higher SAs. The SAs of 15° and 30° demonstrated the minimal thickness of denaturized tissue (0.74 ± 0.14 mm) and VAD (total laser energy/ablation volume (AV) ≈ 4.6 ± 0.46 J/mm(3) ). Decreasing depth and increasing tissue coagulation associated with increasing SA resulted from substantial reduction in both beam irradiance and number of OP, eventually impeding ablation process. Excessive tissue denaturation also occurred when no rotational motion was applied to the fiber possibly due to plume shielding.


Inefficient tissue ablation could lead to adverse post-operative complications due to unwanted thermal injury to peripheral tissue. A SA of 30° was found to be desirable for effective tissue ablation, and further clinical investigations will validate the current findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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