Since 1972 we have been cautiously exploring the use of CO2 laser in the management of carefully selected cases of localized carcinoma of the oral cavity. At the present time our experience is based on the treatment of 57 patients with cancer of the oral cavity.
The CO2 laser has been found to be an indispensable tool in the transoral management of T2 carcinomas, multiple superficial carcinoma, extensive leukoplakia and verrucous carcinoma. The laser allows precise excision of the lesion and involved mucosa and provides an excellent specimen for histologic verification of the margins.
The morbidity of laser excision is minimal, so that a tracheotomy is not needed and patients can almost always be discharged on the following day. (Follow-up data on those patients at risk for 30 months indicate excellent control rates.)