A randomized controlled trial comparing surgical excisional biopsies using CO2 laser, Er:YAG laser and scalpel.

Suter, V.G.A.; Altermatt, H. J.; Bornstein, M. M. (2020). A randomized controlled trial comparing surgical excisional biopsies using CO2 laser, Er:YAG laser and scalpel. International journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery, 49(1), pp. 99-106. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ijom.2019.05.012

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This randomized controlled trial (RCT) (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT03001791) compared excisional biopsies of fibrous hyperplasia performed using a CO2 laser (140Hz, 400μs, 33mJ), Er:YAG laser (35Hz, 297μs, 200mJ, air-water cooling), or scalpel (15c blade). Clinical parameters recorded were duration of the intervention, intraoperative bleeding, need for electrocauterization and/or suturing, postoperative side effects, complications, pain, and intake of analgesics. Histopathological linear measurements of the thermal damage zone were performed on the laser biopsies. Results showed that the duration of the intervention was significantly shorter for both lasers compared to the scalpel (P<0.001). Intraoperative bleeding occurred less frequently with the CO2 laser (P<0.001). Additional electrocautery was used in 92% of Er:YAG laser interventions (P<0.001). Postsurgical complications, pain, and the intake of analgesics did not differ between the groups. The measured thermal damage zones differed significantly between the CO2 laser (median of 72.6μm) and Er:YAG laser (30.9μm) (P<0.001). This RCT showed that CO2 laser, Er:YAG laser, and scalpel are all adequate for excisional biopsies of small lesions in the oral mucosa. While patient postoperative morbidity is similar, the ideal instrument can be selected according to the surgical advantages preferred for the individual situation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology

UniBE Contributor:

Suter, Valérie


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Caroline Balz

Date Deposited:

04 Jan 2021 14:36

Last Modified:

10 Feb 2021 09:40

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

biopsy hyperplasia mouth mucosa pain surgical instruments





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