Use of 2-mm Continuous-Wave Thulium Laser for Surgical Removal of a Tentorial Meningioma: Case Report

 2011 Jun;29(6):437-40. doi: 10.1089/pho.2010.2809. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

Authors: E. Passacantilli, M.D., Ph.D, G. Anichini, M.D., C.P. Delfinis, J. Lenzi, M.D., Ph.D., and A. Santoro, M.D., Ph.D.

Background: Since the early 1980s, CO2, neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG), and other laser prototypes have been widely used in neurosurgery as an intraoperative aid along with the cavitron ultrasonic surgical aspirator (CUSA), bipolar forceps, and microdissection. However, the English literature contains almost no reports on the use of thulium lasers during neurosurgical procedures.

Methods: We report our experience with a thulium laser during the surgical removal of a tentorial meningioma. The intraoperative technique utilized, as well as the clinical and radiological results of the procedure, are described.

Results: The thulium laser proved to be a useful tool during coagulation, shrinking, and resection of the basal implant of the tumor. Use of the laser made the surgical procedure faster and easier, and no intraoperative bleeding was noted. No side effects were observed.

Conclusions: Our experience indicates that thulium lasers are a valid aid during resection of benign intracranial tumors under microscope magnification. Additional studies are required to define fully the role of these lasers in neurosurgical procedures.