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July 1983

Comparison of Tensile Strength in CO2 Laser and Scalpel Skin Incisions

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Ohio State University, Columbus.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(7):465-467. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800210041009

• Skin wounds created by the CO2 laser and the scalpel were evaluated to serially compare tensile strength. The tensile strength of paired skin incisions on the backs of two pigs was measured for 12 weeks. Laser wounds were weaker than scalpel wounds during the initial three weeks after the incision. Subsequent measurements disclosed that both wounds increased in strength at a similar rate. Maximal strength occurred for both wounds at 84 days after wounding. The maximal tensile strength for the scalpel wound was the same for one laser incision and less for the other. This difference may be related to the thermal damage at the edge of the laser wound with resultant delay in the initial phases of wound healing. Ongoing histologic and biochemical analyses will hopefully provide additional information about these differences.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1983;109:465-467)

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