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JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 Aug 1;139(8):828-33. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2013.3974.

Heat generation during ablation of porcine skin with erbium:YAG laser vs a novel picosecond infrared laser.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. nathan.jowett@mail.mcgill.ca

Abstract

IMPORTANCE:

Despite significant advances in surgery, most surgical tools remain basic. Lasers provide a means of precise surgical ablation, but their clinical use has remained limited because of undesired thermal, ionizing, or acoustic stress effects leading to tissue injury. A novel ultrafast, nonionizing, picosecond infrared laser (PIRL) system has recently been developed and is capable, in theory, of ablation with negligible thermal or acoustic stress effects.

OBJECTIVE:

To measure and compare heat generation by means of thermography during ablation of ex vivo porcine skin by conventional microsecond-pulsed erbium:YAG (Er:YAG) laser and picosecond infrared laser (PIRL).

DESIGN AND SETTING:

This study was conducted in an optics laboratory and used a pretest-posttest experimental design comparing 2 methods of laser ablation of tissue with each sample acting as its own control.

INTERVENTION:

Ex vivo porcine skin was ablated in a 5-mm line pattern with both Er:YAG laser and PIRL at fluence levels marginally above ablation threshold (2 J/cm² and 0.6 J/cm², respectively).

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:

Peaks and maxima of skin temperature rises were determined using a thermography camera. Means of peak temperature rises were compared using the paired sample t test. Ablation craters were assessed by means of digital microscopy. RESULTS Mean peak rise in skin surface temperature for the Er:YAG laser and PIRL was 15.0°C and 1.68°C, respectively (P < .001). Maximum peak rise in skin surface temperature was 18.85°C for the Er:YAG laser and 2.05°C for the PIRL. Ablation craters were confirmed on digital microscopy.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

Picosecond infrared laser ablation results in negligible heat generation, considerably less than Er:YAG laser ablation, which confirms the potential of this novel technology in minimizing undesirable thermal injury associated with lasers currently in clinical use.

PMID:
23949359
DOI:
10.1001/jamaoto.2013.3974
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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