Analysis of laser surgery in non-melanoma skin cancer for optimal tissue removal
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Laser surgery is a commonly used technique for tissue ablation or the resection of malignant tumors. It presents advantages over conventional non-optical ablation techniques, like a scalpel or electrosurgery, such as the increased precision of the resected volume, minimization of scars and shorter recovery periods. Laser surgery is employed in medical branches such as ophthalmology or dermatology. The application of laser surgery requires the optimal adjustment of laser beam parameters, taking into account the particular patient and lesion. In this work we present a predictive tool for tissue resection in biological tissue after laser surgery, which allows an a priori knowledge of the tissue ablation volume, area and depth. The model employs a Monte Carlo 3D approach for optical propagation and a rate equation for plasma-induced ablation. The tool takes into account characteristics of the specific lesion to be ablated, mainly the geometric, optical and ablation properties. It also considers the parameters of the laser beam, such as the radius, spatial profile, pulse width, total delivered energy or wavelength. The predictive tool is applied to dermatology tumor resection, particularly to different types of non-melanoma skin cancer tumors: basocellular carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and infiltrative carcinoma. The ablation volume, area and depth are calculated for healthy skin and for each type of tumor as a function of the laser beam parameters. The tool could be used for laser surgery planning before the clinical application. The laser parameters could be adjusted for optimal resection volume, by personalizing the process to the particular patient and lesion.