Picosecond Infrared Laser (PIRL) Application in Stapes Surgery—First Experience in Human Temporal Bones

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Objective:Using a contact-free laser technique for stapedotomy reduces the risk of mechanical damage of the stapes footplate. However, the risk of inner ear dysfunction due to thermal, acoustic, or direct damage has still not been solved. The objective of this study was to describe the first experiences in footplate perforation in cadaver tissue performed by the novel Picosecond-Infrared-Laser (PIRL), allowing a tissue preserving ablation.Patients and Intervention:Three human cadaver stapes were perforated using a fiber-coupled PIRL. The results were compared with footplate perforations performed with clinically applied Er:YAG laser. Therefore, two different laser energies for the Er:YAG laser (30 and 60 mJ) were used for footplate perforation of three human cadaver stapes each.Main Outcome Measure:Comparisons were made using histology and environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) analysis.Results:The perforations performed by the PIRL (total energy: 640–1070 mJ) revealed a precise cutting edge with an intact trabecular bone structure and no considerable signs of coagulation. Using the Er:YAG-Laser with a pulse energy of 30 mJ (total energy: 450–600 mJ), a perforation only in the center of the ablation zone was possible, whereas with a pulse energy of 60 mJ (total energy: of 195–260 mJ) the whole ablation zone was perforated. For both energies, the cutting edge appeared irregular with trabecular structure of the bone only be conjecturable and signs of superficial carbonization.Conclusion:The microscopic results following stapes footplate perforation suggest a superiority of the PIRL in comparison to the Er:YAG laser regarding the precision and tissue preserving ablation.

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