Reshaping and preserving the new shape of cartilage grafts is important for reconstruction of congenital or acquired deformities. In this in vivo study the authors investigated the effect of the Er:YAG laser on cartilage reshaping in comparison with scalpel stripping. The study consisted of two groups (N = 9). After measuring the angle between two margins of the ear, the cartilage in the right ear in rabbits was reshaped using the Er:YAG laser in group I, and scalpel incisions were used to reshape the left-ear cartilage in group II rabbits. Changes in the shape of the ears were evaluated at 10 days, and 1 and 6 months. The laser-reshaped ears were flattened and preserved the new flattened shape at the end of 6 months. The ultrastructural changes in the cartilage were evaluated based on the results from histopathological examination and electron microscopy. The authors conclude that cartilage can be reshaped using the Er:YAG laser. The mechanical effect of laser ablation and the thermal effect of laser radiation caused ultrastructural changes in the cartilage tissue, resulting in permanent changes in cartilage shape.
In a rabbit ear model, scalpel scoring was compared with Er: YAG laser scoring in sculpting auricular cartilage. The laser was significantly more effective in producing permanent reshaping of the cartilage.
*Numune Research and Teaching Hospital; the †Izmir Ataturk Research and Teaching Hospital; and ‡Gazi University, School of Medicine, Turkey.
Received Apr 10, 2001, and
in revised form Jan 26, 2002.
Accepted for publication Jan 26, 2002.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Ayhan, Caldıran sok. 14/B, Kolej, Ankara, Turkey 06420.
Ayhan M, Deren O, Görgü M, Erdoğan B, Dursun A. Cartilage shaping with the Er:YAG laser: an in vivo experimental study.