Er:YAG laser ablation of tissue: Measurement of ablation rates

Joseph T. Walsh*, Thomas F. Deutsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

315 Scopus citations


The ablation of both soft and hard tissue using the normal‐spiking‐mode Er:YAG laser has been quantified by measuring the number of pulses needed to perforate a measured thickness of tissue. Bone is readily ablated by 2.94 μm radiation; however, at per pulse fluences greater than 20 J/cm2, plasma formation decreases ablation efficiency. At low fluence, desiccation can prevent efficient ablation of bone. The ablation efficiency for aorta and skin is higher than for bone. The ablation efficiency, 540 μg/J, and the ablation depth per pulse, >400 μm, for skin are too high to be readily explained by simple models of ablation and thus provide evidence for a more complex explosive removal process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-337
Number of pages11
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989


  • aorta
  • bone
  • modeling
  • optical properties of water
  • skin
  • tissue optics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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