What is CO2 Laser Surgery?
How the VetScalpel CO2 laser cuts:
A LASER (abbreviation for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is an optoelectronic device that produces highly concentrated light rays. Interaction of laser light with the living tissue provides a fundamentally different approach to surgery than conventional scalpel procedures. The CO2 laser emits an intense beam of light that, because of its wavelength of 10.6 micrometers, is highly absorbed by the water-rich soft tissue, making the CO2 laser ideal for soft-tissue surgeries (see our Technology – Wavelength page for detailed explanation). The resulting concentration of laser energy into a shallow, well-defined volume of penetration, unique to the CO2 laser, ensures safe, efficient and predictable tissue removal while minimizing the zone of necrosis at the margins of the cut. The CO2 laser beam has little or no effect on the tissues beyond the target area.
How the VetScalpel CO2 laser ablates and coagulates soft tissue:
The clinician can adjust the veterinary laser’s effect on the tissue by simply changing the distance between the handpiece tip and the tissue. The tip does not mechanically touch the tissue. When the tip is held just above the surface of the tissue, the laser is ready for incisional work; small blood vessels, capillaries, and nerve endings are sealed as the laser beam proceeds along the target. Drawing the tip slightly farther from the surface allows for the ablation/vaporization of larger tissue volumes. Moving the tip even farther away enables the coagulation of larger blood vessels.
An intensely hot, precisely focused laser beam instantly vaporizes the tissue while sealing capillaries, small blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerve endings, with excellent clinical outcomes, as can be seen in the “Introduction to Veterinary Laser Surgery” video, or browse videos on our website: veterinary laser surgery videos.
The many uses of VetScalpel veterinary lasers:
The VetScalpel CO2 laser system is used for incision, excision, vaporization, ablation, and coagulation of soft tissue in various veterinary practice types, such as general small animal practice, as well as specialty and referral practices (dermatology, ENT, ophthalmology, and other specialties). Among small animal veterinarians, soft-tissue CO2 lasers are used for numerous procedures from neuters and spays to ophthalmic and dental applications and treating “hot spots”. VetScalpel also has application in ano-uro-genital procedures, orthopedics, oncology, elective procedures (such as spays, neuters, dewclaw removal, etc.) and numerous miscellaneous soft-tissue applications (i.e. abscess drainage, biopsies, lesions removal, lick granuloma, thyroidectomy, and many more). You can read about clinical outcomes of VetScalpel laser surgery in the Case Studies section of this website, which is compiled of real cases published in the Educational Series of the Veterinary Practice News.
A rapidly expanding use of the CO2 laser technology is in the removal of unsightly warts and cysts. Many pet owners were previously reluctant to subject their pets to the trauma of surgery, even for these minor procedures. Now they can be performed quickly and easily, with very little pain.
To summarize, the clinical benefits of VetScalpel CO2 laser surgery include the following:
- Reduced pain and swelling promote a quicker recovery.
- Less bleeding simplifies surgery, shortens it and may reduce the need for and the duration of anesthesia.
- Instant sterilization of the wound lowers the risk of infection.
- Minimized overall trauma for the patient.