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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 1999 December;134(6):647-9

language: Italian

“Superpulsed” CO2 laser in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma with cytological examination

Campolmi P. 1, Gerlini G. 1, Cappugi P. 1, Turco P. 2, CAriaggi M. P. 2, Vallecchi C. 1

1 Università degli Studi - Firenze, Istituto di Clinica Dermosifilopatica, Unità Operativa di Fisioterapia Dermatologica;
2 CSPO Azienda Careggi, Laboratorio di Citopatologia


Background. Doubtless, the CO2 laser is very useful in dermatological practice. It can be used both in esthetic and oncological dermatology. The CO2 laser light can be emitted either countinuosly, pulsed, superpulsed or ultrapulsed. By using “superpulsed” CO2 laser, an adequate and very precise vaporization of the target area is obtained and it is possible to evaluate visually the depth of the tissue achieved.
Methods. In our Department, in the last 3 years, 140 patients have been treated by superpulsed CO2 laser. They had single or multiple, superficial or nodular basal cell carcinoma, the last one having a diameter < 1.5 cm. Before vaporizing, a cytological examination of the lesion was performed and it was repeated at papillary dermis level. The last control was carried out when the lesion was completely vaporized.
Results. Healing was quick and good esthetic results were obtained. Up to now, none of the treated patients had relapses.
Conclusions. There is no doubt that this technique offers advantages compared with electrosurgery, cryosurgery, photodynamic therapy: it is the only one allowing cytological examination, since the thermal damage is very slight and it doesn’t induce severe morphological alterations to the cells. This technique can be used without anesthesia and it is considered as the treatment of choice for patients with pace-makers and affected by multiple basal cell carcinoma.

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