Carbon dioxide laser circumcisions for children
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The carbon dioxide laser for circumcision was introduced by our department in 1989. This study aims to review our experience with laser circumcision for children and to evaluate its cost effectiveness as compared to conventional methods. A retrospective study of 30 patients who underwent conventional circumcision in 1985 and another 30 patients who underwent laser circumcision in 1995 was undertaken. The operating times in both groups were compared. The total cost of use of the laser machine was calculated, taking into account maintenance costs, estimated life span of laser machines (10 years) and costs of disposables used during each circumcision. This was weighed against the cost savings from shorter operating times and reduced operating theatre facility charges. Also, morbidity data from 2781 laser circumcisions done between May 1997 and April 2000 was collected. There was a significant decrease of 5 minutes in operating time for the group of patients who underwent laser circumcision. Calculated cost savings per laser circumcision from the reduced operating theatre time was S$31/-. Of the 2781 cases of laser circumcision performed, there was an overall complication rate of 1.15%. Twenty-nine cases (1.04%) had post circumcision bleeding, of which 10 cases (0.36%) required unplanned return to operating theatre for hemostasis. Three cases (0.11%) had wound infection, requiring admission to hospital. Laser circumcision is a simple method with reduced operative time translating into cost effectiveness. Morbidity rates of laser circumcision compare favourably to those of conventional circumcision based on reports from other institutions.
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