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September 1985

Carbon Dioxide Laser Stapedotomy: Thermal Effects in the Vestibule

Arch Otolaryngol. 1985;111(9):601-605. doi:10.1001/archotol.1985.00800110079007

• Small-fenestra stapedotomy has recently been popularized in efforts to reduce the incidence of sensorineural hearing loss following stapes surgery for otospongiosis. Lasers have been advocated as a tool to fenestrate the stapes footplate. Conversion of radiant energy from the laser into heat in the vestibule represents the greatest potential risk to the inner ear. Using a carbon dioxide laser with a focal point of 150 μm at 300 mm, fenestrations of the stapes footplate were performed in a series of 14 anesthetized cats. The laser power output ranged from 0.47 to 3.05 W, with pulse durations of 0.2 and 0.5 s. Resultant temperature elevations in the vestibule, measured by a thin-wire thermocouple, ranged from 0 to 4.4 °C (0 to 8 °F) and directly correlated to wattage and duration of the laser-beam pulse. Temperature changes could be reduced by use of lower wattage, shorter pulse duration, timed intervals between pulses, and convection cooling of the promontory.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1985;111:601-605)