CO2 lasers in the management of potentially malignant and malignant oral disorders

Head Neck Oncol. 2012 Apr 30;4:17. doi: 10.1186/1758-3284-4-17.


The CO2 laser was invented in 1963 by Kumar Patel. Since the early 1970s, CO2 laser has proved to be an effective method of treatment for patients with several types of oral lesions, including early squamous cell carcinoma.Laser surgery of oral premalignant disorders is an effective tool in a complete management strategy which includes careful clinical follow-up, patient education to eliminate risk factors, reporting and biopsying of suspicious lesions and any other significant lesions. However, in a number of patients, recurrence and progression to malignancy remains a risk. CO2 laser resection has become the preferred treatment for small oral and oropharyngeal carcinomas. Laser resection does not require reconstructive surgery. There is minimal scarring and thus, optimum functional results can be expected.New and improved applications of laser surgery in the treatment of oral and maxillofacial/head and neck disorders are being explored. As more surgeons become experienced in the use of lasers and as our knowledge of the capabilities and advantages of this tool expands, lasers may play a significant role in the management of different pathologies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lasers, Gas*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome