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October 1995

Use of the Tunable Dye Laser to Delay McFarlane Skin Flaps

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Loma Linda (Calif) University School of Medicine (Drs Odland, Poole, and Rice); and Jerry Pettis Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Loma Linda (Drs Odland, Poole, Rice, and Koobs). Dr Odland is now with the Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minn.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121(10):1158-1161. doi:10.1001/archotol.1995.01890100066011

Objective:  To determine whether the argon tunable dye laser, used in a noncutting, hemocoagulative mode, improves skin flap survival as effectively as a surgical delay procedure.

Design:  A physiologic, controlled trial was completed with three groups: acute control skin flaps, surgical delay skin flaps, and experimental laser delay skin flaps. The outcome variable was percentage of skin flap survival.

Subjects:  Forty-four male Sprague-Dawley rats.

Interventions:  McFarlane skin flaps were raised in all groups. The first group had no delay procedure, the second had the standard surgical delay, and the third group was lased at the periphery of the flap 2 weeks before raising the acute flap.

Results:  The acute control group had survival of 85.7%±1.5% (mean±SE) of skin flaps; surgical control group, 94.4%±0.7%; laser delay group, 96.5%±0.1%. The survival of the experimental group was better than the acute control group and was not different from the surgical delay group by the Scheffé multiple comparison test.

Conclusions:  This research may lead to a technique to reproduce the benefits of the delay phenomenon without the risks and cost of a surgical procedure.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121:1158-1161)

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