Comparison of the effects of the CO2 surgical laser ...

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Title Comparison of the effects of the CO2 surgical laser and conventional surgical techniques on healing and wound tensile strength of skin flaps in the dog
Author(s) M. B. Mison, B. Steficek, M. Lavagnino, B. D. Teunissen, J. G. Hauptman, R. Walshaw
Journal Veterinary Surgery: VS: The Official Journal of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Date 2003
Volume 32
Issue 2
Start page 153
End page 160
Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine if CO(2) laser was superior to conventional surgical techniques (CST) for creation of skin flaps in dogs as determined by hemostasis, wound healing, and wound tensile strength. STUDY DESIGN: In-vivo model ANIMALS: Six large, mixed-breed dogs. METHODS: On each dog's trunk, 3 pairs of identical, dorsally based, pedicled skin flaps were created and sutured back into position. Based on a Latin Square design, flaps on one side were created with a CO(2) laser and on the other side by CST. Intraoperative hemorrhage was measured by weighing sponges used to absorb blood. On days 7, 10, and 14, specimens from the flap-skin junction and the central portion of each pair of flaps were collected. Specimens were subjected to tensile strength testing and histologic examination to evaluate wound healing. RESULTS: Mean (+/- standard error of mean [SEM]) hemorrhage was significantly less (P =.02) with CO(2) laser (4.70 +/- 1.37 g) than CST (10.82 +/- 1.37 g). Wound tensile strength (N/m(2)) after CST (0.49 +/- 0.049) was significantly greater (P =.01) than with CO(2) laser (0.17 +/- 0.049). Laser incisions had partial necrosis of the wound edges and a more extensive inflammatory response; however, healing of the wound beds were similar regardless of technique. CONCLUSIONS: The CO(2) laser provided better intraoperative hemostasis than CST. However, overall healing and increase in tensile strength of the skin-flap junction of the flaps created by the laser may be delayed during the first few weeks of wound healing. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Skin flaps used to repair large skin defects in dogs can be created and elevated with a CO(2) laser. In areas of increased skin mobility or tension, skin flaps created with CO(2) laser may be more susceptible to complications such as dehiscence, and care should be taken to minimize these complications.
DOI 10.1053/jvet.2003.50003

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