chapter  42
16 Pages

Lasers in Neurosurgery

Both the laser-emission parameters (wavelength, fluence, and mode) as well as the exposed tissue’s optical and thermal properties (water and hemoglobin content, thermal conductivity, and specific heat) are critical in determining the tissue effect (hemostasis, cutting, and vaporization). The main potential disadvantage is diffusion of heat energy resulting in thermal damage to surrounding normal tissue. Furthermore, tissue factors such as degree of vascularity affect kinetics of cooling following hyperthermia from a laser pulse. In addition, laser irradiation may kill tumor cells but of course does not remove them, which must still be done surgically.