Laser Laryngeal Surgery Helps Patients Avoid the OR
Technological advancements in potassium-titanyl-phosphate (KTP) laser treatments offered at the University of Maryland Medical Center have allowed more and more patients to avoid the operating room by receiving in-office laser laryngeal surgery.
Elizabeth Guardiani, MD, Assistant Professor of Laryngology-Voice, Swallowing and Airway Disorders in the University of Maryland Medical Center Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, is one of the only laryngologists in the mid-Atlantic region to offer in-office treatments for laryngeal lesions, such as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), vascular lesions like ectasias and varices, leukoplakia and dysplasia, vocal fold polyps, and granulomas.
Office-based laser surgery in otolaryngology has been in use for 20 years. However, the advancements in laser technology during this time have been substantial. The wavelength of the KTP laser (532 nm) is better absorbed by oxyhemoglobin than the earlier model 585 nanometer (nm) pulsed dye laser (PDL) and the extended pulse width (15ms) allows for distribution of energy over a longer time period. This leads to more effective intravascular coagulation via slower intraluminal heating than with the PDL, while avoiding photothermal injury to the superficial lamina propria allowing for superior voice outcomes. Furthermore, the smaller fiber size of the KTP laser improves visualization during procedures which increases precision. Procedures are done without sedation, so patients can get back to their normal activities almost immediately.