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Treatment of vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) with the carbon dioxide laser.

The increasing incidence of VAIN especially in young women, the frequent relapses, and renewed interest in maintaining sexual function have prompted gynecologists to a conservative management of the disease. Over the last decades, surgery, 5-fluorouracil, chemosurgery, electrocautery and cryotherapy were used. Carbon dioxide laser ablation therapy of VAIN has been reported from various authors with different results. From June 1991 through December 1998, 39 patients affected by VAIN were treated with laser surgery (35 vaporizations and 4 excisions). To achieve complete elimination of all lesions, seven patients had two vaporizations and one patient three. One patient was submitted to six combined repeated treatments. Five patients were not evaluable and three presented persistence of VAIN. One patient died because of AIDS. The remaining 30 patients, treated with laser surgery, were lesion free: 7 patients were negative at 12-24 months, 10 at 24-36 months and 13 at 37-90 months. No important complications occurred. Sexual function was not compromised. Carbon dioxide laser is a safe and efficacious tool in the treatment of pre-neoplastic lesions of the vagina.

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