Benefits of Laser Surgery
Acadia Vet Clinic was the first veterinary clinic in Saskatchewan to offer laser surgery as an alternative to conventional techniques involving the scalpel.
Former clinic owner, Dr. Altina Wickstrom, was a pioneer in small animal laser surgery in Saskatchewan. She trained Dr. Alison Higgins, current practice owner, for many years to develop her skills and expertise in providing laser surgery for your pets.
What is a “laser”?
LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser is an optoelectronic device that produces highly concentrated light rays. Laser power may range from milliWatts (in CD-ROM drives and laser pointers) to dozens of Watts (industrial and medical applications) and over trillions of Watts (pulsed lasers in scientific and military applications).
The interaction of laser light with tissue provides a fundamentally different approach to surgery. In laser surgery, a highly focused laser beam can efficiently ablate (either vaporize or chip away) the living tissue. At the same time, it seals (welds) capillaries, small blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerve endings, with significant benefits to both patients and surgeons.
The surgical laser is recognized in both Veterinary and Human Medicine for the significant benefits it provides the patient and the surgeon. The laser can be used for almost any surgical procedure, including spaying and neutering, but it is particularly recommended for surgery of the eyelids, such as correction of entropion or ectropion and distichiasis, declawing of cats, repair of elongated soft pallets and stenotic nares, external ear canal surgery, and removal of warts, masses, and tumors.
Because of our concern for the safety and comfort of your pets, we require pre-surgical blood work and routinely provide intravenous fluid therapy and blood gas monitoring during surgical procedures. We also emphasize post-operative pain control and prescribe special diets to enhance recovery.
What is the most efficient soft-tissue surgical laser?
Soft Tissue Laser Surgery is different from Hard Tissue Laser Surgery (bones and teeth in dentistry) and Laser Eye Surgery (eyesight corrective surgeries) by particular types of lasers. Lasers differ from each other by the wavelength of light they produce. The most commonly used surgical laser in soft tissue surgery is the CO2 laser. The CO2 laser wavelength (10.6 micrometers) is highly absorbed by water contained in soft tissue. Because of its outstanding versatility and precision, the CO2 surgical laser is the most efficient and dominant soft tissue surgical laser since the 1960s. Laser surgery is widely practiced in many applications of human as well as veterinary medicine.
Laser Surgery Benefits for Patients
- Less Pain – The CO2 laser beam seals nerve endings as it cuts through tissue. This reduces the amount of pain the patient feels during surgery and patient experiences a far more comfortable post-operative recovery.
- Reduced Bleeding – The CO2 laser beam cauterizes and seals small blood vessels as it cuts. This laser energy achieves hemostasis and provides the surgeon with a bloodless surgical field in most procedures. This drastic reduction in bleeding also enables a number of new surgical procedures that are not practical with conventional scalpels.
- Reduced Swelling – There is no physical contact between the laser and the surgical region, eliminating the tearing and bruising of tissue associated with traditional surgical methods. Lymphatic vessels are also sealed.
- Reduced Infection – Laser energy acts as an antibacterial agent by producing high temperatures, effectively eliminating microorganisms. This is one of the unique features of the CO2 laser beam: it efficiently kills bacteria in its path, producing a sterilizing effect.
- Quicker Recovery – As a result of all of the above, laser surgery provides the benefit your clients will appreciate the most: a quicker recovery for their pet.
Laser Surgery Benefits for Surgeons
- Unique Surgical Capabilities: Laser surgery improves many surgical procedures by making them simpler and reducing risk. This enables surgeries that are not practical with conventional methods.
- Enhanced Visibility of the Surgical Field: The laser light seals capillaries and small blood vessels as it cuts, thereby dramatically reducing bleeding. This results in a much clearer and drier surgical site.
- Increased Precision and Control: The focal spot size of the beam may be adjusted down to a small fraction of a millimeter or expanded for much wider coverage. The laser power may be set for rapid removal of relatively large tissue amounts or adjusted to remove only one cell layer at a time.
- Reduction of Surgery Time: The hemostatic effect of the laser beam and the improved visibility of the surgical field often reduce the duration of the surgery.
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What pet owners say about Laser Surgery
Veterinary care delivered with compassion for the pets of Saskatoon for over 35 years.
Acadia Veterinary Clinic and Pet Rehab Centre is a full-service veterinary hospital in Saskatoon, SK. We're pleased to provide compassionate veterinary care and pet rehabilitation. We want to offer the best care for your best friend!