Purpose: CO2 laser biopsy and photo-thermal ablation has been accepted as a diagnostic/treatment modality for leukoplakia. We hypothesized that CO2 laser would be an excellent tool for diagnosis/treatment of leukoplakia, facilitating improved outcome and patient satisfaction.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was performed comparing CO2 laser to the standard surgical technique, considering the treatment protocol and patient compliance. In toto, 8 patients were diagnosed using the clinical features prominent for leukoplakia. These were further subdivided into two categories. Category A defined patients undergoing bilateral treatment with CO2 laser and the traditional surgical technique. Category B was further divided into two subcategories, in which patients underwent either CO2 laser or the traditional technique. Immediately postoperatively, the samples thus obtained were subjected to histopathological study. After the treatment protocol, the patients were asked to determine pain on the faces scale and numerical rating scale. A follow-up of the patients was done after 7, 14 and 21 days.
Results: The study showed improved operating conditions, more rapid healing than for other thermal instruments, minimal tissue handling, and improved patient compliance.
Conclusion: Because of its comfort level for the operator and the patient's benefit, CO2 laser can be recommended in oral therapy. It is a precise means of removing soft tissue lesions in selected patients. Patient postoperative satisfaction after laser excision was greater when compared with those who had conventional excisions. Postoperative pain was less, as was the pain experienced during the first week of recovery.
Keywords: biopsy, leukoplakia, CO2 lasers, dysplasia, scalpel, ablation