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Yes! Laser surgery has become widely accepted as a valuable tool in veterinary medicine. The CO2 Laser instantly vaporizes water from inside the cells, removing these cells, while leaving the surrounding tissue virtually unaffected. The advantages of Laser surgery are well documented- less bleeding, tumor ablation, less swelling, less pain, shorter hospitalization and quicker return to normal function. These are just a few of the advantages that make Laser surgery the best choice for general soft tissue surgery. Hemostasis- reduced bleeding

During Laser surgery, small blood vessels are sealed at the incision site. The Laser can also be defocused for use as a tool for blood coagulation or clotting. Minimal blood loss benefits the patient as well as the surgeon. Since bleeding is controlled or absent, surgical fields are clear and dry resulting in shorter procedure times.

Ablation- tumor removal

CO2 Lasers can ablate or vaporize tissue. Skin tumors can be “erased” easily with Laser surgery, additionally, any contaminants are removed resulting in a sterile site. Lasers can be used to precisely remove tissue layer by layer or vaporize an entire tumor.

Decreased swelling

Laser surgery seals lymphatic vessels. Bruising and tearing of tissue is avoided as well. Reduced tissue trauma minimizes inflammation which, in turn, reduces swelling.

Decreased pain

Laser surgery seals nerve endings. Patients feel less pain post-operatively because raw severed nerve endings along the incision line are sealed.

Less hospitalization time

Most surgeries can be completed in a shorter period of time allowing owners to have their pet back at home that evening.

Quicker return to normal function

Laser surgery allows animals to resume normal activity quicker than traditional surgery. Tissue healing time is significantly reduced to almost half in most procedures. Surgical incisions also heal faster when created by Laser. The advantages listed above all contribute to a faster return to normal activity and help owners and veterinarians to accomplish the most important goal, providing the best care for your pets.

Now that you know the basics concerning Laser surgery, I will share some of my clinical observations with you. My practice, Alldredge Veterinary Hospital, in Tarkington, has been performing Laser surgery for some time now. The use of Laser surgery has enabled us to discharge surgical patients on the same day in most cases. Many clients dislike being separated overnight from their pets. There are as many reasons as there are clients concerning the reluctance to leave a pet overnight, but this shouldn’t prevent an animal from receiving a needed surgery. Same day discharge eases the clients mind and allows pets to receive the care they need. A large number of surgical procedures are now performed on an out-patient basis due to Laser surgery. Most lumps and bumps previously requiring general anesthesia with hospitalization can now be performed via Laser surgery under local anesthesia only. Often times, these Laser procedures are completed in 15-20 minutes during an office examination. Incisions created by Laser surgery are cosmetically superior and cause far less irritation due to lessened levels of swelling and pain. Most pets will not lick or chew at Laser incisions but will continue to aggravate incisions created by traditional surgery.

I have found Laser surgery to be an awesome instrument and am constantly amazed at it’s surgical abilities. I can perform many different procedures with the Laser than ever before. And, these procedures are much more efficient and beneficial to the pet. Laser surgery has become the gold standard in veterinary medicine and allows veterinarians to practice the highest quality medicine possible.