Laser Surgery: Reflecting on Eleven Years of Usage
Why I really like and can’t do without laser surgery in certain procedures.
Laser surgery offers some advantages over regular surgery, in general the following apply: less PBS- pain, blood and swelling.
Less Pain- Laser seals nerve ending as it cuts, minimizing post operative pain.
Less Blood- Laser seals blood vessels as it cuts through them, giving another layer of safety and peace of mind during certain procedures.
Less Swelling- Laser also seals lymphatics as it cuts, minimizing swelling after surgery.
Shorter recovery- as a result of all of the above, patients benefit due to shorter recovery time.
After using five different laser instruments over the last 11 years, I realized that there are several surgical procedures in which laser is almost “a must” compared with the traditional surgeries I used to do.
I’ll share my thoughts with you about them:
1. Resection of elongated soft palate
In some short muzzle breeds such as English bulldogs and pugs.
Standard surgery carries the risk of post surgical swelling and bleeding, which puts the patient at higher risk of suffocation or aspiration.
Laser surgery makes the procedure almost a breeze: with experience, the right amount of tissue is removed, making the patient breath easier almost instantaneously.
2. Stenotic nares –
Stenotic (narrow) nares or nostril are seen in short muzzle breeds such as shitzu and pugs.
Standard surgery require sutures while laser surgery does not. Laser also eliminates post surgical bleeding which may get aspirated.
3.Removal of neoplastic masses in difficult , sensitive areas.
Two recent examples:
A 9 year old dog upon routine dental care was found to have a very small suspicious mass on his mandible (lower jaw).
Biopsy confirmed a locally aggressive tumor.
Instead of complete jaw resection we elected laser burning and removal of all sorrounding tissue in order to save, even if temporarily, the whole jaw.
An 11 year old heavy pitbull had an innocent mass on the leg.
Removal was clean except for the base of the tumor, which biopsy confirmed was also locally aggressive.
While amputation may be eventually needed, laser burning/fanning of remaining base tissue was performed with minimal post operative bleeding and pain.
4. Laser feline declaw.
This is a bloody, painful surgery.
While anti pain medication is used heavily and use of tourniquets minimizes the bleeding, there is no comparison to laser in this case.
In an experienced hands, without causing bone burning and thermal damage to the tissue, laser makes this common procedure so much easier on cats.
My patients walk right after the surgery!!!
Their behavior is upbeat and they seem very comfortable, telling me: you took good care of me!
5. Neutering and ovariohysterectomy.
Laser adds another layer of safety (seals blood vessels) by eliminating post surgical internal bleeding and comfort to these two very common procedures.
Recovery is fast, patients looks great and owners are happy when they take their loved ones home the same day!
Feel free to consult with me if laser surgery will be helpful for your pet.