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What types of lasers are there?

Lasers come in a variety of modalities, each suited for particular needs. CO2, diode, YAG and other types of lasers are all used in human and veterinary medicine. While no laser suits all applications, CO2 lasers are by far the most common laser first purchased by a small or mixed animal practice in veterinary medicine.

What is a CO2 surgical laser?

The carbon dioxide (CO2) laser emits a colorless, infrared light at a specific wavelength of 10,600 microns, which has an extremely high affinity for the intercellular water of cells.

How does a CO2 surgical laser work?

The main constituent of cells-water, readily absorbs the wavelength of light produced by the CO2 surgical laser. The spectral absorption of water provides the CO2 laser with the ability to coagulate, cut, char, or ablate/vaporize tissue depending on the power density and the energy level applied by the surgeon. The surgeon can control the extent by which the laser beam is absorbed into surrounding tissue, resulting in an extremely precise tissue incision.

What are the clinical benefits of laser surgery for the patient?

A summary of the benefits include:

  • Less pain
  • Less bleeding
  • Less swelling
  • Extreme precision
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Quicker recovery 

What type of procedures can a laser perform?

A laser is ideal for a wide variety of procedures for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, horses and other animals. The most widely recognized procedure amongst pet owners is the feline laser declaw. Additional procedures include but are not limited to the removal of cysts, tumors and warts, as well as specialized internal procedures.