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Nd:YAG lasers (1,064 nm) in the treatment of venous malformations of the face and neck: challenges and benefits

Kathrin Scherer, Milton Waner
Lasers in Medical Science 2007, 22 (2): 119-26
Neodymium:yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser therapy for venous malformations (VMs) of the head and neck is a rather new therapeutical option in addition to sclerotherapy and surgery. One hundred forty-six patients (age 2 months to 77.5 years) with VMs in the head/neck (localized, diffuse, and multifocal) were retrospectively analyzed with regard to number and quality of treatments and laser parameters used. Of these patients, 72 had no prior treatment of any kind, and 74 were pretreated. Laser treatment of mucosa and tongue was done with a mean fluence of 103.1 J/cm(2), of skin with 90.7 J/cm(2), and of glomuvenous malformations with 81.2 J/cm(2). Complex VM can mostly be controlled but rarely cured. Initial Nd:YAG laser therapy is important in the treatment of VMs regarding shrinkage of the tissue, discoloration, and induction of the desired dermal fibrosis that facilitates the surgical handling of the skin and reduces the risk of skin loss in surgery and sclerotherapy.

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