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22 May 1997 Thermal measurements of short-duration CO2 laser resurfacing
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The thermal consequences of a 100 microsecond carbon-dioxide laser used for skin resurfacing were examined with infrared radiometry. Human skin was evaluated in a cosmetic surgery clinic and extirpated rodent skin was measured in a research laboratory. Thermal relaxation following single pulses of in vivo human and ex vivo animal skin were quantitatively similar in the 30 - 1000 msec range. The thermal emission from the area of the irradiated tissue increased monotonically with increasing incident laser fluence. Extremely high peak temperatures during the 100 microsecond pulse are attributed to plume incandescence. Ejecta thermal emission may also contribute to our measurements during the first several msecs. The data are combined into a thermal relaxation model. Given known coefficients, and adjusting tissue absorption to reflect a 50% water content, and thermal conductivity of 2.3 times that of water, the measured (both animal back and human forearm) and calculated values coincide. The high thermal conductance suggests preferential thermal conduction along the protein matrix. The clinical observation of a resurfacing procedure clearly shows thermal overlap and build-up is a result of sequential, adjacent pulses. A decrease of 4 - 6 degrees Celsius in surface temperature at the treatment site that appeared immediately post-Tx and gradually diminished over several days is possibly a sign of dermal convective and/or evaporative cooling.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David M. Harris, Daniel Fried, Lou Reinisch, Thomas Bell M.D., and Rex Lyver "Thermal measurements of short-duration CO2 laser resurfacing", Proc. SPIE 2970, Lasers in Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems VII, (22 May 1997);

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