Laser skin welding: In vivo tensile strength and wound healing results

Nathaniel M. Fried*, Jay Walsh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Objective: Laser skin welding was investigated as a general model for laser tissue closure. Scanned delivery of near-infrared laser radiation in combination with a dye can produce strong welds with limited thermal damage. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Two-centimeter-long, full-thickness incisions were made on the backs of guinea pigs. Wounds were closed either by laser welding or sutures and then biopsied at 0, 3, 6, 10, 14, 21, and 28 days postoperatively. Welding was achieved by using continuous-wave, 1.06-μm, Nd:YAG laser radiation scanned over the incisions to produce a dwell time of ~80 msec. The cooling time between scans was fixed at 8 seconds. A 4-mm-diameter laser spot was maintained during the experiments, and the power was kept constant at 10 W. The operation time was fixed at 10 minutes per incision. India ink was used as an absorber of the laser radiation at the weld site, and clamps were used temporarily to appose the incision edges. Results: Acute weld strengths of 2.1 ± 0.7 kg/cm2 were significantly higher than suture apposition strengths of 0.4 ± 0.1 kg/cm2 (P < 0.01), and weld strengths continued to increase over time. Lateral thermal damage in the laser welds was limited to 200 ± 40 μm near the epiderreal surface with less thermal damage deeper within the dermis. Conclusion: Our welding technique produced higher weld strengths and less thermal damage than reported in previous skin welding studies and may represent an alternative to sutures. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-65
Number of pages11
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 22 2000

Keywords

  • Infrared radiation
  • Laser
  • Skin closure
  • Tissue welding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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