Veterinary CO2 Laser Surgery
CO2 lasers are the Gold Standard of surgical lasers because of their unique wavelength and precision. Tens of thousands of CO2 lasers are used daily across North America in various veterinary and human specialties.
VetScalpel has its roots in Luxar technology, introduced in 1991 as the first soft-tissue dental CO2 laser designed for the small office environment. VetScalpel further advances the flexible fiber, all-metal tube surgical CO2 laser through a variety of improvements. Handpiece, laser pulsing, system integration, and serviceability technology improvements are summarized below.
The CO2 laser wavelength of 10,600 nm is universally regarded as best suited for soft tissue laser surgery across all specialties, because it is highly absorbed by water, has a very thin extinction depth and provides excellent hemostasis.
The diode laser wavelength of 800-1,000 nm, on the other hand, is poorly absorbed by soft tissue, about 10-100 times worse than the CO2 laser wavelength. To avoid a massive spread of necrosis, it should not be used surgically. Diodes are used as thermal devices and their hot glass tips are used to slowly pick at tiny amounts of tissue.
The Er:YAG laser wavelength’s extinction depth in soft tissue is 10 times shorter compared to the CO2 laser wavelength. This extinction depth allows for great cutting but poor hemostasis in soft tissue and limits Er:YAG applications to water-rich hard tissue where hemostasis is not required. Er:YAG technology requires sophisticated power supplies, cooling systems, and beam delivery components which contribute to a high end-user price and maintenance fees.