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Journal Article

Heat Generation During Ablation of Porcine Skin With Erbium:YAG Laser vs a Novel Picosecond Infrared Laser

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Jowett, N., Wöllmer, W., Mlynarek, A. M., Wiseman, P., Segal, B., Franjic, K., et al. (2013). Heat Generation During Ablation of Porcine Skin With Erbium:YAG Laser vs a Novel Picosecond Infrared Laser. JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, 139(8), 828-833. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.3974.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-182E-9
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.