Histologic Evaluation of Porcine Skin Incisions Produced by CO2 Laser, Electrosurgery, and Scalpel
The purpose of tis study was to histologically compare the healing of porcine skin incisions made by CO2 laser, electrosurgery, and conventional scalpel. Incisions were made on the dorsal thorax of two microswine at staggered time intervals allowing the harvest of specimens at 0, 4, 7, 14, and 21 days postsurgery at the time of sacrifice. Each of the following histologic zones were identified and measured for both laser and electrosurgery incisions: (1) zone of tissue ablation, (2) zone of thermal necrosis, and (3) width of surface damage. The depth of cut and width of surface opening was meausred for the scalpel incision. Furthermore, for each specimen, the presence and character of inflammatory cell infiltrate was noted, as well as the relative times at which bridging of the incision by connective tissue and coverage of the wound by an intact epithelial layer had occurred. Results showed that in this wound-healing model, the scalpel incisions produced more defined borders, healed more rapidly, and resulted in less collateral tissue damage than those produced by CO2 laser or electrosurgery. It was also noted that to create a wound 1. 29 mm in depth required at least five passes of the laser beam within the same line of incision using 206.4 J/cm2 (6 W. continuous mode).