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What are the two different types of lasers?
What are the three types of surgical lasers that can be used in veterinary medicine?
- CO2 laser
- neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser
- diode laser
Which surgical laser is most commonly used?
What kind of beam does a CO2 laser emit?
a beam of invisible light at a wavelength of 10,600 nm
What happens when light is absorbed by soft tissue?
it is converted into heat
What is photothermal ablation?
tissue being destroyed in an explosive vaporization event when the internal pressure created by the expanding water exceeds the strength of confinement of the collagen matrix of the tissue
What is collateral heat damage?
any damage to tissue that is adjacent to the target tissue
What changes as the focal spot size changes?
- the closer the more penetrating power and smaller spot size
- the further the less penetrating power and the larger spot size
What does power density depend on?
the power setting, spot size, and distance from the tip to the tissue
What is the power of the laser? Can the power of the laser be changed during a single procedure?
- a measure of the energy released at a selected rate
- yes, and it often is
Can the hand speed at which the laser is moved across the tissue affect the beam? If so, how?
- hand speed relates to the length of time that the beam remains in one place and therefore the total amount of energy that is delivered to that spot
What procedures can we use the surgery laser for?
- routine procedures like spaying, neutering, and declawing
- nonroutine procedures like mass removal, mass ablation, soft palate resection, correction of stenotic nares, and ocular enucleation
What is mass ablation?
burning off little masses like warts
What type of dog do we have to often correct the stenotic nares?
What are the benefits to using a CO2 laser?
- better control of postoperative pain
- more precise incisions
- less tissue trauma and edema
- improved hemostasis
- improved access to surgical area
- reduced surgery time
- fewer sutures needed after surgery
How does the surgery laser reduce pain?
seals off the nerves which reduces pain
How does the surgery laser improve hemostasis?
carterizes as it cuts
Does using the surgery laser provide a faster healing time or a slower healing time? Why?
- slower healing time
- in order for a wound to heal, serum must ooze out to form a good fibrin seal over the wound - the laser doesn't allow for this to happen
Lasers are divided up into 4 different classes according to their safety hazards, what are they?
- Class I and II: grocery store scanners and laser pointers - not considered dangerous
- Class III: lasers used in light shows - can harm eyes if viewed directly into the beam
- Class IV: surgical lasers - can cause serious eye and skin injuries with direct or reflected beams
What types of protection do we need to wear when using a surgical laser?
- goggles, glasses, and face shields protect eyes from corneal and lens opacities and retinal damage
- surgical masks to prevent inhalation of the laser smoke
What types of surgical masks should we wear?
- surgical masks are rated by pore size
- 0.1-um masks are preferred for laser procedures
When we are using the surgical laser around the mouth, what extra precautions do we need to worry about?
endotracheal tube should be protected with water-soaked gauze
Can we use the surgical laser on bone and other hard tissues?
Are lasers expensive?