A surgical carbon dioxide laser unit (laser) has been used since 1977 in twentyfive cases of various brain tumours, including ten meningiomas (four sphenoid ridge, two parasagittal, two falx, one olfactory, one posterior fossa), eleven gliomas (seven glioblastoma, four astrocytoma), two metastatic brain tumours, one haemangioblastoma, and one arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
The criteria for laser use, as based on evaluation and location of meningioma, were: grade 1, convenient but adjuvant; grade 2, also necessary; grade 3, indispensable. The laser is obligatory in sphenoid ridge meningioma in order to peel the tumour away from the internal carotid artery, middle cerebral artery, cavernous sinus etc. The grade of necessity for laser use is therefore either 2 or 3. In convexity or parasagittal meningioma, on the other hand, the necessity grade is either 1 or 2.
In the glioma group hemorrhage in seven cases of glioblastoma was easily laser-controlled, and the tumours were wasted away in a short time through vaporization, with minimum mechanical effect on adjacent tissue. The laser is therefore very useful in cases of glioma, especially glioblastoma, considering the shortened operating time, decreased blood loss, and extended area of tumour resection.
Laser surgery is proposed as being most appropriate, mainly for its vaporizing and coagulating functions, in cases of brain tumour involving the elderly and poor risk cases.
KeywordsLaser surgery brain tumours operative technique
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