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ILSC 2019 Paper 1303.pdf (532.16 kB)

The design of medical laser surgery dermatology handpieces for radiation control and direct extraction of infectious laser generated plume

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conference contribution
posted on 2019-04-02, 15:30 authored by Matthew Jones, Jack Edwards, John TyrerJohn Tyrer, Lewis JonesLewis Jones, Alan Beswick, Delphine Bard, Jason Britton
Surgical skin treatments such as; laser ablation, laser scalpels, hair removal, tattooed removal etc can all generate direct and secondary optical radiation hazards, however, because they are designed to intentionally destroy human tissue, they also generate gaseous and particulate emissions. This second family often referred to as; surgical smoke, surgical smoke plume and surgical fume, have now been identified as producing viable bio-active aerosols, these by-products now pose infectious hazards to the patient and staff of the operating room. Local extraction is sometimes used to try and reduce the airborne concentration of these byproducts though in virtually all cases the smell of the process is detectable by all. The optical radiation hazard usually dictates the wearing of protective eyewear to provide some level of personal protection. A major health concern to all medical and cosmetic facilities is that of infection control. Surgical smoke is usually overlooked as a source of infection within the operating environment and it has been known since the mid-1980s that the particulate can carry with it live pathogens from the patient which can now be in skin contact or respired by the operating staff. A paper presented by the authors in the Medical Session here at ILSC provides possibly the first quantitative analysis of the hazards the surgeon and other staff are subject to. This paper examines the practical limitations of the existing approaches and provides some simple practical control measures that provide complete radiation containment as well as enable complete particulate and gas extraction without any reliance on any form of personal protection for the patient and operating staff. These designs have now been tested and are shown to offer 100% effective plume extraction and radiation containment.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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International Laser Safety Conference


JONES, M. ... et al, 2019. The design of medical laser surgery dermatology handpieces for radiation control and direct extraction of infectious laser generated plume. Presented at the International Laser Safety Conference, Kissimmee, Florida, USA, 18-21 March 2019.


© Laser Institute of America (LIA)


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This conference paper appears here with the permission of the Laser Institute of America.


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