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Proceedings Paper

Laser soft-palate stiffening
Author(s): Zhi Wang; Kathleen McMillan; Donald F. Perrault; Babak Nemati; Eric Carkner; Elie E. Rebeiz; Stanley M. Shapshay
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Paper Abstract

Preliminary animal model experiments have been performed to test the feasibility of a new treatment for snoring. Current surgical treatments for snoring at the palatal level involve either excision of tissue to shorten the palate, or interstitial ablation of the palate to induce fibrosis and stiffening. Both shortening and stiffening of the palate are believed to be effective in reducing snoring. Mucosal surface damage and delayed tissue sloughing are the cause of considerable pain for the patient. In the new treatment proposed here, palatal stiffening with mucosal preservation is accomplished by combining evaporative cooling at the tissue surface with laser irradiation to heat subsurface tissue layers. The surface is cooled using a timed spray of tetrafluoroethane immediately prior to each pulse from a 1.54 micrometer erbium glass laser. In vivo experiments demonstrate that the technique causes significant shrinkage and decreased elasticity in hamster skin, with no tissue sloughing. In vitro experiments with canine soft palates show that laser-induced thermal damage zones ranged from approximately 0.75 to 1.75 mm below the surface, depending on laser parameters. These results suggest that the noninvasive laser technique may produce palatal stiffening with protection of the mucosal surface, for treatment of snoring with minimal morbidity.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3245, Lasers in Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems VIII, (1 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.312281
Show Author Affiliations
Zhi Wang, New England Medical Ctr./Tufts Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Kathleen McMillan, New England Medical Ctr./Tufts Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Donald F. Perrault, New England Medical Ctr./Tufts Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Babak Nemati, Candela Corp. (United States)
Eric Carkner, New England Medical Ctr./Tufts Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Elie E. Rebeiz, New England Medical Ctr./Tufts Univ. (United States)
Stanley M. Shapshay, New England Medical Ctr./Tufts Univ. School of Medicine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3245:
Lasers in Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems VIII
Graham M. Watson; Harvey Lui; Lou Reinisch; Penny J. Smalley; Kenneth Eugene Bartels; R. Rox Anderson; Lawrence S. Bass; Kenneth Eugene Bartels; C. Gaelyn Garrett; Lloyd P. Tate; Sharon L. Thomsen; Reza S. Malek; Aaron P. Perlmutter; R. Rox Anderson; Lawrence S. Bass; C. Gaelyn Garrett; Kenton W. Gregory; Harvey Lui; Reza S. Malek; Aaron P. Perlmutter; Lou Reinisch; Penny J. Smalley; Lloyd P. Tate; Sharon L. Thomsen; Graham M. Watson, Editor(s)

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