Lasers have been used by ear surgery specialists for years, but a new technology is making laser ear surgery more effective than ever. The Lumenis OtoLase Flexible CO2 Fiber Delivery System is a recent technological advancement that allows this laser to be used in a very precise manner to help improve hearing and remove infection in the ear. Dr. Robert Owens is a leading Lumenis OtoLase Flexible CO2 Fiber Delivery System surgeon nationally, and you can see him discussing the laser on the daytime television show “The Doctors”. The following summarizes a use of the laser in ear surgery.

OtoLAM: Laser Assisted Myringotomy

The laser assisted myringotomy is a procedure wherein the ear surgeon uses a laser instead of a knife to create an incision in the eardrum to allow for drainage of infection. Advocates of the procedure feel that it may decrease scarring in the eardrum and may be less painful to perform in an office setting. Healing times are thought to be decreased as well. This procedure is really geared towards children who have acute ear infections and may or may not require ventilation tube placement.

Laser Ear Surgery for Otosclerosis: Laser Stapedectomy

Lasers have been used to assist in the performance of a surgery called stapedectomy for many years. The rationale for use of laser in these surgeries is that by using the laser the ear surgeon may be able to remove the pathologic fixed bone which causes hearing loss with less trauma. Different types of lasers have been used for this surgery in the past, but a majority of ear surgeons feel that the carbon dioxide laser is the safest laser to perform this surgery. The Lumenis OtoLase Flexible CO2 Fiber Delivery System creates a situation where a carbon dioxide laser can be used through a handheld flexible instrument which makes its use very precise and safe. Dr. Owens has performed over 100 laser stapedectomy surgeries with the Lumenis OtoLase Flexible CO2 Fiber Delivery System and is considered an expert in its use. It has led to improved outcomes and safety in our patients here at the Owens Ear Center, and we are very excited about what this device can do for our patients.

Laser Ear Surgery for Chronic Middle Ear Disease and Cholesteatoma

The laser can be used to assist in removal of chronically thickened mucosal and scar tissue in patients with chronic infection in the ear. The laser is also very effective at removing infected cysts that occur at times in the ear called a cholesteatoma. Please refer to explanations of these conditions in our information section. By using the laser in these surgeries, Dr. Owens can help decrease the chance that the infected tissue will recur. The laser helps to cauterize and minimize the swelling in the mucosa and also makes it safe to perform precise removal of cholesteatoma from sensitive areas of the middle ear. Dr. Owens has used the Lumenis OtoLase Flexible CO2 Fiber Delivery System in over 100 surgeries for cholesteatoma or chronic ear disease, and it has helped greatly with reducing postoperative scarring and inflammation.

Laser Ear Surgery for Tumors

The Lumenis OtoLase Flexible CO2 Fiber Delivery System is ideally suited to assist in removal of tumors from the middle ear or inner ear regions. Dr. Owens has used the laser to remove vascular tumors from the ear canal and middle ear, and the laser has greatly reduced the bleeding and the duration of surgery. The laser has also been used to assist in removal of inner ear tumors such as acoustic neuromas, and it is felt that the laser has helped in reduction of bleeding with these cases as well. Researchers are currently studying other uses for the laser for intracranial pathologies.

Laser Ear Surgery: Conclusion

We are again very excited to be a part of the cutting edge of ear surgery in offering laser ear surgery for various conditions to our patients. The recent advancements with this new technology have only improved upon a very safe method to do ear surgery and made it more precise. Additionally, it has allowed us to expand the use of the laser into other areas and improve outcomes with ear surgeries in these areas.

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