Laser technology has proven to be an effective tool in human medicine for over 30 years. Horizon Animal Hospital is excited to be among the few veterinary hospitals in the Phoenix-metro area to offer the benefits of laser surgery for the non-human members of your family.
What is a laser?
Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission Radiation. Laser light is produced by energizing the molecules of a crystal or gaseous compound causing them to give off light at a specific wavelength. There are many different kinds of lasers, each of which creates a specific tissue reaction depending on the wavelength. However, the special characteristics of the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser have made it the most widely used medical laser in the world.
CO2 lasers deliver an intense, concentrated beam of infrared light at a wavelength of 10,600 nanometers. This particular wavelength has an exceptional effect on the water normally found in soft tissue. CO2 laser energy instantly vaporizes water, and the targeted cells, with little effect on the surrounding tissue. Because the beam can be precisely controlled, it only vaporizes a thin layer of tissue at one time. Thermal damage of 0.1mm beyond the beam enables the veterinarian to be extremely precise in every laser procedure.
What are the benefits of laser surgery for pets and animals?
Less Pain – The laser simultaneously seals nerve endings as it cuts. Without a “raw” severed end the patient feels less pain post-operatively. The patient may also require less anesthesia during the operation, thereby reducing the risk of complications.
Less Bleeding – Bleeding is minimized because the laser seals small blood vessels as it cuts.
Less Swelling – A laser scalpel will not crush, tear or bruise the tissue because there is no physical contact.
Faster Recovery – Reduced bleeding, swelling, and post-operative discomfort will result in more rapid healing.
Reduced Risk of Infection – The laser sterilizes the surgery site as it cuts, killing the bacteria that cause infection while removing unhealthy tissue.
Precision – The laser can be controlled to remove layers of tissue as thin as 0.1mm with minimal effect on the surrounding healthy tissue.
What procedures are performed with the laser?
The CO2 medical laser is the best choice for a wide variety of soft tissue procedures. Applications include:
- Skin tumor ablation
- Gum surgery
- Many other internal procedures are also possible including Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome surgery.