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Lasers in Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery

The use of lasers can be a gimmick. The public love the idea. Lasers like the diode laser offer no real advantage over standard techniques, and in some cases may be worse. However in the right area the right laser offers real advantages. In my 25 years as a consultant ENT Surgeon I have boiled it down to these areas:

Cancer: early disease can be controlled by laser ablation and/or excision often as a daycase.

Tonsils: intracapsular laser vapourisation under local anaesthetic spray or general anaesthetic is much less painful than traditional tonsillectomy and very rarely bleeds. In some cases return to work is immediately after surgery.

Soft palate/uvula: reduction under local anaesthetic

Inferior turbinate: laser turbinoplasty under local or general anaesthetic to treat blocked nose symptoms.

Moles: laser vapourisation under local anaesthetic.

Skin veins and brown patches: laser coagulation /ablation