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Proceedings Paper

Effects of CO2, thulium, and erbium lasers on middle ear synthetic implants
Author(s): Ian Bottrill; Hannu J. Valtonen; Dennis S. Poe
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Paper Abstract

10.6 micrometers CO2, 2.01 micrometers Thulium:YAG (Tm:YAG) and 2.94 micrometers Erbium:YAG (Er:YAG) are currently being used or investigated for potential applications in otologic surgery. In addition to biologic tissue there are numerous synthetic materials (Gelfoam, Silastic, C-Flex, Silicone and Teflon), mineral components (Hydroxylapatite) and metals (stainless steel) that may be encountered during surgery. Their behavior in response to laser irradiation is, for the most part, unknown. We investigated the effects of these lasers, operated at clinically relevant parameters on these materials. We looked for signs of melting, perforation, charring, smoke formation and ignition. The results show that wet Gelfoam proved to be a partially effective barrier to all lasers. Silastic transmitted the energy of the Tm and Er:YAG with minimal damage, but charred, ignited or exploded with the CO2 depending on the energy applied. All lasers melted C-Flex at higher energies. On Silicon, CO2 produced flames, char and melting; the other lasers produced a tiny spark and less melting. Teflon charred and perforated when exposed to any laser, but only Tm:YAG produced a spark. All lasers at moderate and high energies shattered hydroxylapatite. Stainless steel was not affected by CO2, but was perforated by Tm:YAG and Er:YAG. The results suggest that none of the tested lasers are safe for all currently used prosthetic materials and therefore they should be used with caution.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 1995
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 2395, Lasers in Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems V, (12 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.209105
Show Author Affiliations
Ian Bottrill, New England Medical Ctr./Tufts Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Hannu J. Valtonen, New England Medical Ctr./Tufts Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Dennis S. Poe, New England Medical Ctr./Tufts Univ. School of Medicine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2395:
Lasers in Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems V
R. Rox Anderson; Graham M. Watson; Rudolf W. Steiner; Douglas E. Johnson; Stanley M. Shapshay; Michail M. Pankratov; George S. Abela; Lawrence S. Bass; John V. White; Rodney A. White; Kenneth Eugene Bartels; Lloyd P. Tate; C. Thomas Vangsness, Editor(s)

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