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Complications of Cutaneous Laser Surgery: A Survey

Complications of Cutaneous Laser Surgery: A Survey Abstract • We surveyed a selected group of 139 dermatologists and plastic surgeons about their experience with the complications of cutaneous laser surgery. Reported complication rates varied from 0% to 35%, with means of 3.2% for dermatologists and 6.2% for plastic surgeons using the argon laser, and 4.2% for dermatologists and 2.8% for plastic surgeons using the carbon dioxide laser. Hypertrophic scarring was the complication noted most frequently; 69% of physicians using the argon laser and 64% of physicians using the carbon dioxide laser have seen at least one case of hypertrophic scarring. Complications noted less frequently include infection, pain, atrophic scarring, intraoperative or postoperative hemorrhage, and prolonged wound healing. Environmental accidents were few. No procedure-related deaths, ocular damage, or secondary cutaneous malignant neoplasms were reported. We conclude that cutaneous laser surgery has an acceptable risk profile but that complications are not uncommon. (Arch Dermatol 1987;123:345-349) References 1. Baggish MS: Complications associated with carbon dioxide laser surgery in gynecology . Am J Obstet Gynecol 1981;139:568-574. 2. Fried MP: A survey of the complications of laser laryngoscopy . Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1984;110:31-34.Crossref 3. Healy GB, Strong MS, Shapshay S, et al: Complications of carbon dioxide laser surgery of the aerodigestive tract: Experience of 4416 cases . Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1984;92:13-18. 4. Healy GB: Complications of laser surgery . Otolaryngol Clin North Am 1983;16:815-820. 5. Davis RK, Simpson GT II: Safety with the carbon dioxide laser . Otolaryngol Clin North Am 1983;16:801-813. 6. Mohr RM, McDonnell BC, Unger M, et al: Safety considerations and safety protocol for laser surgery . Surg Clin North Am 1984;64:851-859. 7. Baker SS, Muenzler WS, Small RG, et al: Carbon dioxide laser blepharoplasty . Ophthalmology 1984;91:238-244.Crossref 8. Wolfe JA: Laser accidents . Arch Ophthalmol 1985;103:174-175.Crossref 9. Reid R, Muller S: Tattoo removal by carbon dioxide laser dermabrasion . Plast Reconstr Surg 1980;65:717-728.Crossref 10. Zimmerman MC: Tattoo removal . J Dermatol Surg Oncol 1984;10:911-918.Crossref 11. Dixon JA, Huether S, Rotering R: Hypertrophic scarring in argon laser treatment of port-wine stains . Plast Reconstr Surg 1984;73:771-779.Crossref 12. Apfelberg DB, Flores JT, Maser MR, et al: Analysis of complications of argon laser treatment for port-wine hemangiomas with reference to the striped technique . Lasers Surg Med 1983;2:357-371.Crossref 13. Noe JM, Barsky SH, Geer DE, et al: Port-wine stains and the response to argon laser therapy: Successful treatment and predictive roles of color, age, and biopsy . Plast Reconstr Surg 1980;65:130-136.Crossref 14. Gilchrest BA, Rosen S, Noe JM: Chilling port-wine stains improves the response to argon laser therapy . Plast Reconstr Surg 1982;69:278-283.Crossref 15. Dejonckere PH, Franceschi D, Scholtes JL: Extensive granuloma pyogenicum as a complication of endolaryngeal argon laser surgery . Lasers Surg Med 1985;5:41-45.Crossref 16. Larson DL, Abston S, Evans EB, et al: Techniques for decreasing scar formation and contractions in the burned patient . J Trauma 1971;11:807-823.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Dermatology American Medical Association

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1987 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-987X
eISSN
1538-3652
DOI
10.1001/archderm.1987.01660270083020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract • We surveyed a selected group of 139 dermatologists and plastic surgeons about their experience with the complications of cutaneous laser surgery. Reported complication rates varied from 0% to 35%, with means of 3.2% for dermatologists and 6.2% for plastic surgeons using the argon laser, and 4.2% for dermatologists and 2.8% for plastic surgeons using the carbon dioxide laser. Hypertrophic scarring was the complication noted most frequently; 69% of physicians using the argon laser and 64% of physicians using the carbon dioxide laser have seen at least one case of hypertrophic scarring. Complications noted less frequently include infection, pain, atrophic scarring, intraoperative or postoperative hemorrhage, and prolonged wound healing. Environmental accidents were few. No procedure-related deaths, ocular damage, or secondary cutaneous malignant neoplasms were reported. We conclude that cutaneous laser surgery has an acceptable risk profile but that complications are not uncommon. (Arch Dermatol 1987;123:345-349) References 1. Baggish MS: Complications associated with carbon dioxide laser surgery in gynecology . Am J Obstet Gynecol 1981;139:568-574. 2. Fried MP: A survey of the complications of laser laryngoscopy . Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1984;110:31-34.Crossref 3. Healy GB, Strong MS, Shapshay S, et al: Complications of carbon dioxide laser surgery of the aerodigestive tract: Experience of 4416 cases . Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1984;92:13-18. 4. Healy GB: Complications of laser surgery . Otolaryngol Clin North Am 1983;16:815-820. 5. Davis RK, Simpson GT II: Safety with the carbon dioxide laser . Otolaryngol Clin North Am 1983;16:801-813. 6. Mohr RM, McDonnell BC, Unger M, et al: Safety considerations and safety protocol for laser surgery . Surg Clin North Am 1984;64:851-859. 7. Baker SS, Muenzler WS, Small RG, et al: Carbon dioxide laser blepharoplasty . Ophthalmology 1984;91:238-244.Crossref 8. Wolfe JA: Laser accidents . Arch Ophthalmol 1985;103:174-175.Crossref 9. Reid R, Muller S: Tattoo removal by carbon dioxide laser dermabrasion . Plast Reconstr Surg 1980;65:717-728.Crossref 10. Zimmerman MC: Tattoo removal . J Dermatol Surg Oncol 1984;10:911-918.Crossref 11. Dixon JA, Huether S, Rotering R: Hypertrophic scarring in argon laser treatment of port-wine stains . Plast Reconstr Surg 1984;73:771-779.Crossref 12. Apfelberg DB, Flores JT, Maser MR, et al: Analysis of complications of argon laser treatment for port-wine hemangiomas with reference to the striped technique . Lasers Surg Med 1983;2:357-371.Crossref 13. Noe JM, Barsky SH, Geer DE, et al: Port-wine stains and the response to argon laser therapy: Successful treatment and predictive roles of color, age, and biopsy . Plast Reconstr Surg 1980;65:130-136.Crossref 14. Gilchrest BA, Rosen S, Noe JM: Chilling port-wine stains improves the response to argon laser therapy . Plast Reconstr Surg 1982;69:278-283.Crossref 15. Dejonckere PH, Franceschi D, Scholtes JL: Extensive granuloma pyogenicum as a complication of endolaryngeal argon laser surgery . Lasers Surg Med 1985;5:41-45.Crossref 16. Larson DL, Abston S, Evans EB, et al: Techniques for decreasing scar formation and contractions in the burned patient . J Trauma 1971;11:807-823.Crossref

Journal

Archives of DermatologyAmerican Medical Association

Published: Mar 1, 1987

References