The Benefits of CO2 Laser
CO2 laser: Controlled Precision for enhanced surgical outcomes
Now in use for over thirty years in surgical procedures, the CO2 laser was one of the first lasers to be developed for medical applications. CO2 lasers are so named since they work by exciting carbon dioxide gas within a sealed tube producing a high-intensity beam of infrared light.
Water, the primary component of most biological tissue, absorbs CO2 laser energy readily. As the light energy is directed to the tissue, the water absorbs the energy and is vaporized. Its efficient absorption ensures minimal thermal damage to the surrounding anatomy and makes CO2 laser energy very useful for applications near critical anatomical structures. Other advanced energy devices – like those that apply other laser wavelengths, radiofrequency electrosurgical energy, ultrasonic vibrations, or plasma beams – each have their own distinct benefits for surgeons, but none can claim the sub-millimeter precision of CO2 laser.
The adjoining chart illustrates the depth of penetration of various laser sources in pigmented and unpigmented tissue. As is evident, the CO2 laser’s depth of tissue effect is almost 400 times less than that of some common alternative medical lasers, making it the most precise for surgical applications.