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Otorinolaringologia 2001 March;51(1):7-9


language: Italian

CO2 laser treatment of T1-T2 carcinomas of the tongue

Stomeo F., Meloni F., Bozzo C., Fois V.

Università degli Studi - Sassari Dipartimento Struttura Specialità Microchirurgiche Sezione di Otorinolaringoiatria


Background. CO2 Laser represents a reliable tool for the treatment of T1 and T2 tumors of the tongue. The lack of complications, generally scarce bleeding and quick scarring processes consitute the peculiar characteristics of this procedure.
Methods. Our series take includes 24 patients with squamocellular carcinomas of the mobile portion of the tongue, at T1 and T2 stage, treated between 1990 and 1996 by means of CO2 Laser; the removal of the neoplasm was followed by a preventive neck dissection of lymph nodes at levels I-IV performed after four weeks. T1 patients underwent an atypical resection, while for T2 patients a partial hemiglossectomy was performed. The excision was performed by means of Zeiss OPMILAS 50 CO2 laser with 6-10 Watts superpulsed beam at a distance of 300 mm. All cases different from PN0 were postoperatively irradiated.
Results. The minimal four years-follow-up showed: two recurrencies on the site of onset both on PT2N0 patients within the first year of follow-up, who underwent a revision laser surgery and postoperative irradiation onto T and N sites. An incidence of so called occult metastasis of 28% in 22 patients, involving only T2 cases, without extra-capsular spread. A 91% survival rate at four years.
Conclusion. The choice of CO2 laser for the treatment of patients with T1 and T2 carcinomas of the mobile portion of the tongue and N0 neck is advisable either for the good results obtained, or the less morbidity with regard to traditional surgery. Moreover, the use of laser in our hands has remarkably lowered the number of postoperative complications, and reduced the average period of hospitalization for those patients.

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