Although in medical use since the 1960’s, it is only recent advances in micro-technology that have permitted the widespread use of lasers in both human and veterinary medicine. The word ‘laser’ is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A laser, in the simplest terms, is a machine that produces a highly concentrated beam of light. In the type of laser used in veterinary medicine, this beam of light is in the ultraviolet spectrum, which is not visible to the human eye.
Lasers provide surgeons with a tool that vaporizes abnormal tissue, makes paper thin incisions, provides hemostasis or control bleeding, and allows for unparalleled precision. In addition, a laser seals nerve endings, lymphatic and small blood vessels. All of these abilities add up to the major benefit of minimal to no damage to tissue surrounding the surgical site. For the patient, this means less pain, less swelling, less bleeding and less time necessary to heal. For the veterinarian, this means better visualization of surgical fields, more precision and less surgical time.
The procedure that has been made markedly less traumatic as a result of laser use is the feline de-claw. The bruising, swelling, and pain resulting from the amputation of the first joint of each toe is greatly reduced and we see patients who recover in half the time as the traditional de-claw blade.
Other surgeries commonly performed with lasers include those done on the mouth, eyes, ears, spays, neuters, tumor, and skin mass removals.
Compliments of Dale City Animal Hospital 703-670-6181