Objectives: Lasers are effective tools for soft tissue surgery. The erbium, chromium: yttrium, scandium, gallium, garnet laser is a new system that incorporates an air-water spray. This study evaluates the cutting margins of this laser and compares healing with laser and conventional scalpel and punch biopsy-induced wounds.
Study design: New Zealand white rabbits were divided into serial sacrifice groups; the tissues were grossly and microscopically analyzed after laser and convential steel surgical wounding.
Results: Wound margins were found to show minimal edge coagulation artifact and were 20 to 40 mm in width. Laser wounds showed minimal to no hemorrhage and re-epithelialization and collagenization were found to occur by day 7 in both laser and conventional groups.
Conclusions: The new laser system is an effective soft tissue surgical device; wound healing is comparable to that associated with surgical steel wounds. The minimal edge artifact observed with this laser system should allow for the procurement of diagnostic biopsy specimens.