Surgical lasers have become a very important part of Veterinary medicine. The advent of the surgical laser has improved the treatment of many disease states previously treated with a scalpel or electrosurgical unit. The laser provides the surgeon with improved hemostasis while significantly reducing the pain and swelling due to its unique properties. Using endoscopic, laparoscopic, and other minimally invasive methods, fiber directed laser energy (Diode and Ho:YAG) has been used to treat diseases of the upper and lower GI tract, including benign polyps, gastric ulcers, and intestinal neoplasia.
For most general practitioners the CO2 generated wavelength of energy provides the greatest application in soft tissue cases with the least negative impact on surrounding tissue. Diode generated wavelengths have more limited soft tissue handling parameters but have the advantage of being functional in a fluid environment or through endoscopic application. Ho: YAG generated wavelength energy is used primarily for minimally invasive urological techniques for ablation of bladder, urethral, and prostatic pathological conditions in small animals.