Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 1029–1035 | Cite as

Optoacoustic monitoring of cutting efficiency and thermal damage during laser ablation

  • Erwin Bay
  • Alexandre Douplik
  • Daniel RazanskyEmail author
Original Article


Successful laser surgery is characterized by a precise cut and effective hemostasis with minimal collateral thermal damage to the adjacent tissues. Consequently, the surgeon needs to control several parameters, such as power, pulse repetition rate, and velocity of movements. In this study we propose utilizing optoacoustics for providing the necessary real-time feedback of cutting efficiency and collateral thermal damage. Laser ablation was performed on a bovine meat slab using a Q-switched Nd-YAG laser (532 nm, 4 kHz, 18 W). Due to the short pulse duration of 7.6 ns, the same laser has also been used for generation of optoacoustic signals. Both the shockwaves, generated due to tissue removal, as well as the normal optoacoustic responses from the surrounding tissue were detected using a single broadband piezoelectric transducer. It has been observed that the rapid reduction in the shockwave amplitude occurs as more material is being removed, indicating decrease in cutting efficiency, whereas gradual decrease in the optoacoustic signal likely corresponds to coagulation around the ablation crater. Further heating of the surrounding tissue leads to carbonization accompanied by a significant shift in the optoacoustic spectra. Our results hold promise for real-time monitoring of cutting efficiency and collateral thermal damage during laser surgery. In practice, this could eventually facilitate development of automatic cut-off mechanisms that will guarantee an optimal tradeoff between cutting and heating while avoiding severe thermal damage to the surrounding tissues.


Optoacoustics Cutting efficiency Thermal damage Laser ablation Laser surgery Shockwaves Photoacoustic imaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erwin Bay
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexandre Douplik
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Daniel Razansky
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI)Helmholtz Center MunichNeuherbergGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Clinical Photonics Lab (CPL), School of Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT)Friedrich-Alexander Erlangen-Nuremberg UniversityErlangenGermany
  5. 5.Medical Photonics Engineering Group (MPEG), Chair of Photonics TechnologiesFriedrich-Alexander Erlangen-Nuremberg UniversityErlangenGermany

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