Abstract

The residual thermal damage produced during surgical laser cutting procedures can affect subsequent healing. Tissue ablation using a cw CO2 laser results in a deep region of thermal damage and surface char, in contrast, tissue ablation using a pulsed UV excimer laser results in a zone of thermal damage ~ 1 μm wide with 193-nm radiation and ~100 μm wide with 248-nm radiation.1 It should be possible to reduce the extent of residual thermal damage produced by IR lasers by selecting an appropriate pulse duration and operating wavelength, in particular, a simple thermal model predicts that the residual thermal damage can be confined to a region of the order of the penetration depth of the incident radiation provided the pulse duration is shorter than the time for thermal diffusion through that region. The 1/e penetration depth in water of 10.6-μm radiation is ~10 μm; thus it should be possible to confine residual thermal damage to a zone of this width.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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References

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