Laryngeal cancer treatment. The CO2 laser

A minimally invasive technique, precise, direct and ideal for treating a multitude of approaches. Skin treatments, through the removal of tumors or pathologies in the region of the larynx. This is how it is presented
carbon dioxide laser CO2 lasera technique that has several decades of experience but which has taken hold in many fields of medicine in recent years.

Thanks to its enormous precision,
the CO2 laser are
perfect for operations located in the larynx, especially when dealing with tumors or areas of particular complexity. “It is used as a remote scalpel and allows tissue to be cut and vaporized without direct tissue contact, allowing tumors to be removed in one piece, when small, or by fragmenting them, since the cut seals the blood and lymphatic vessels, which reduces intraoperative bleeding and the migration of tumor cells is avoided”, details
Manuel Bernal Dr.specialist in the laryngeal approach
Quirónsalud Valencia Hospital and President of the Spanish Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery.

Thanks to improvements in technology, the cutting laser point “is extremely thin, which is why it is
e preserves healthy tissue, which will be useful later in the function of the voice or swallowing“, specifies Dr. Bernal, for whom “the carbon laser can also be applied through the fiber and most robotic surgery systems have integrated it to cut tissue”. When performing the surgery through a natural orifice, it is not necessary to make an external incision to approach the internal part, in this way the recovery of the patients is generally faster.

Dr. Bernal has been performing carbon laser surgeries in Spain since 1994. With this technology, in principle,
All types of throat, head or neck tumors can be operated on. “The resection of the tumor is always accompanied by the treatment of the possible lymph nodes of the neck, if necessary”, adds Dr. Bernal.

Advantages of the CO2 laser

When approaching a tumor in the region of the larynx using a CO2 laser, the patient has advantages such as the tracheostomy being excluded from the first moment. With resection through the mouth,
a less invasive approach is performed which avoids external cuts –except those necessary for neck lymph node surgery– and, therefore,
recovery is faster. In addition, by not performing an external approach, the sensory nerves are not cut and recovery from swallowing is facilitated”, specifies Dr. Bernal. “The CO2 laser is almost entirely absorbed by the intracellular water and causes the water and the cell to vaporize. 99% of the heat is lost in the vaporization so that damage to adjacent tissues is less than 0.01 mm, this preserves laryngeal function, limits swallowing disorders and postoperative pain, and allows pathologists to ‘interpret the resection margins,’ adds Dr. Bernal.

It is a technique which, being minimally invasive, is repeatable in the event of suspicion of tumor persistence or recurrence. Moreover, as Dr. Bernal points out, “the fact that laser tumor treatment is started allows it to be repeated and, if it fails at some point, conventional external approaches can be offered without affecting the life expectancy.” of life.

Cancer and CO2 laser

Conventional surgery and the CO2 laser have very similar survival rates and life expectancies.
“What varies”, warns Dr. Bernal, is “the aggressiveness of the treatment”. In any case, “in small tumours, transoral laser surgery perfectly replaces radiotherapy, with similar survival rates. The advantage of the laser is that it can be repeated, whereas the failure of a radio-chemotherapy treatment is most often a major salvage surgery. In larger tumours, it may be possible to add radiotherapy, in particular to the lymph nodes in the neck, and/or chemotherapy as a complementary treatment”, concludes Dr Bernal.

Request more information on the treatment of laryngeal cancer at the Quirónsalud Valencia Hospital

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