Laser Surgery for Cancer

What is Laser Surgery?

Laser therapy uses a very small, concentrated light beam to shrink or kill cancer cells. It is used to cut out cancer cells without damaging other tissue. Laser therapy can be utilized to:

  • Remove precancerous tumours and growths
  • Shrink tumours that obstruct the heart, colon or oesophagus
  • Treat cancer symptoms such as bleeding
  • Handle side effects of cancer, such as swelling
  • Seal the nerve endings to reduce discomfort following surgery
  • Seal the lymph vessels to reduce swelling and prevent tumour cells from spreading after surgery

While laser burning sounds very dangerous, laser operation requires less cutting and damage as it is less invasive than conventional Surgery. For example, the laser can be guided within a natural body opening with fibre optics and special scopes, without having to make a wide cut. The laser then is directed at tumour killing it.

What types of cancers are treated with Laser Surgery?

Laser Surgery is used in specific types of cancer because these often have a unique requirement that only lasers can fulfil. For example, the laser can penetrate an area that is difficult to treat, add heat, or cut only a very small area. They can be used to treat cancer of the:

  • Vocal cords
  • Oesophagus
  • Cervix
  • Skin
  • Lung
  • Vagina
  • Vulva

Laser therapy is also used in palliative therapy. Palliative Surgery makes the person feel better and more relaxed even if cancer has not been cured by the Surgery. An example of this kind of Surgery may involve removing a growth that makes it difficult for a person to eat.

How is Laser Surgery done?

The techniques of laser therapy vary according to the procedure. When treating a tumour, an endoscope (a small, lighted, flexible tube) is used to direct the laser and view tissues inside the body. For example, for oesophagus cancer, an endoscope may be inserted through an opening in the neck or the mouth. The surgeon either focuses the laser and shrinks the tumour, or kills it.

What are the side effects of Laser Surgery?

Since Laser Surgery is an advance technique using minimal invasion, the side effects are very rare. You might sometimes have slight Pain and high temperature for a few days.