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Proceedings Paper

Laser Surgery: Alternatives To CO2 Ablation
Author(s): Myron L. Wolbarsht
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Paper Abstract

Laser surgery may be improved by modifications based on similar processes in industrial applications. A major problem in materials processing is minimizing heat diffusion from the site of laser exposure. The same problem exists in tne surgery of tissue with a CO2 laser. A model is described which indicates that radiation at 2.9 μm (HF laser) in short duration pulses, shorter than the thermal relaxation time (1.7 ps) of its 2 um thick absorption depth in water, will minimize thermal diffusion, and also take advantage of the large amount of heat removed by the phase change of water into steam. This model suggests that, for deep cuts, many short pulses are preferable to a single long duration exposure and that more delicate surgery may be possible with such short pulse, shallow absorption depth types of energy delivery. For coagulation (nemostasis control) as well as ablation, two simultaneous wavelengths are required, 2.9 μm for cutting, and another, with less absorption, (such as 1.06 μm from Nu:YAG or 466-J14 nm from Argon lasers) for more penetration and heating of upper layers and blood vessels. Among the secondary benefits of the use of the HF laser at 2.9 μm is ready availability of flexible optical fibers for a delivery system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 November 1985
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0540, Southwest Conf on Optics '85, (20 November 1985); doi: 10.1117/12.976144
Show Author Affiliations
Myron L. Wolbarsht, Duke University (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0540:
Southwest Conf on Optics '85
Susanne C. Stotlar, Editor(s)

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