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The Ansanelli Co2 Laser Technique compared to common methods (knife, electric cautery and plasma kinetic cautery) for Breast Cancer Surgery

Introduction to Knife and Cautery Surgery compared to The Ansanelli Co2 Laser Technique

The most common surgical tools utilized in breast cancer surgery and surgery overall are the knife and electric/plasma kinetic cautery. These methods are standardly taught in residency programs to surgeons. This more universal one size fits all approach inspired Vincent Ansanelli M.D., F.A.C.S., to innovate the status quo. Having researched the Co2 laser advantages and capability in surgical practice, he understood that the knife and cautery surgery were severely lacking in surgical application. The Ansanelli Co2 laser technique results have proved far more beneficial both during surgery and in surgical recovery. Here are the reasons why.

Knife and Cautery Surgical Process

A surgical knife cuts tissue while the electric/ plasma kinetic cautery dissects by burning tissue. There are two types of cautery that can be utilized during a breast cancer procedure. The electrocautery, a monopolar instrument, allowing the electro-current not only to transmit in the breast during dissection but also travel throughout the patient’s body. Plasma kinetic cautery is a bipolar instrument. It enables the current to only pass through the tissue between the electrodes of the instrument.

Despite the critical act of dissecting and removing cancer from the breast, these common modalities simultaneously damage the patient’s healthy tissue. This unfortunate complication puts a strain on both the surgeon/team and operative patient. These methods in surgery require more tools and additional processes to counter their inefficiency. More specifically, the tissue damage created during dissection dramatically increases pain level during the surgery. This necessitates the application of heavy narcotics, general anesthesia (requiring a breathing tube down the throat) and nerve blocking to numb the patient. The damage created continues to be present after surgery and increases the patient’s risk of complications. In addition, the patient is vulnerable to the effects and complications that can arise from the pain blocking methods mentioned. This is superimposed on patients who have preconditions. This presents many layers of potential problematic avenues that can be experienced originating from an inefficient method of surgery.

During surgery and post-operatively, blood loss created by knife dissection increases the risk of blood transfusions and complications in recovery. This also presents the opportunity of seeding cancer cells escaping into the blood stream. A common fear and strong reason why many try to avoid surgery altogether. The repercussions from the surgical damage also include pain, slower tissue repair, heavy drainage, hematomas, increased levels of infection, and structural damage that may not repair. Cauterization features of the electric cautery dissection may reduce blood loss compared to knife surgery, but the damage to the tissues remain equally detrimental to the patient. This requires further Rx medications for both pain and infection. This affects the patient in all phases of the surgical experience. (Read further on mastectomy by this method on Procedure Page)

Another complication rarely explored with the use of electricity (electric cautery) as a dissecting tool are the effects on the body’s natural electrical system. Logically the natural electrical rhythms of the heart and organs must be disrupted by another stimulus. The body’s organs are orchestrated to function within a natural electrical rhythm. If the electricity of the cautery is then applied this creates a rhythmic disruption. Prolonged use of electrical tools on a body’s tissue, especially if a patient’s organs are weak from pre-existing conditions, or naturally more sensitized in senior patients, present a potential increased risk for secondary complications. The approach in surgical care should not just be for the moment but should consider the long-term effects the treatment will have on your body. The Ansanelli Co2 Laser Technique has the technical and technological capability of empowering the breast cancer surgical patient unlike any method utilized globally.

Why The Ansanelli Co2 Laser Technique provides Superior Care in Surgery compared to Knife/ Cautery Options

There is NO tissue damage with the Ansanelli Co2 laser technique. This factor alone dramatically simplifies the standard breast cancer surgical model. Every procedure with The Ansanelli Co2 laser technique is under local anesthesia with IV sedation. This includes more advanced surgeries such as stage 4 radical mastectomies with axillary node dissections. Due to the lack of tissue damage and dependence on pain masking methods such as general anesthesia, the patient has an immediate recovery no matter how advanced the procedure. There is little to no pain immediately following surgery. A Tylenol at most is taken for the initial recovery period. Every patient immediately following The Ansanelli Co2 laser surgery can go out for lunch, and resume their day normally. The post-operative care is minimal, requiring one to two post-operative visits to change the dressing.

The sealing and sterilization benefits during surgery with The Ansanelli Co2 Laser Technique dramatically minimizes drainage, nearly eliminates the risk of infections and/or complications. Wound care is minimal. The sealing and sterilization benefits have also proven to reduce cancer cell spread throughout the blood vessels and lymphatics. It has demonstrated to reduce local recurrence in animal studies by 80%. It has additionally reduced local recurrence in Co2 laser patients longer than the national average. Blood transfusions typically common in standard methods are also eliminated. The patient’s immunity is supported by a higher level of care both in surgical method and technologically.

Additional beneficial features unique to Dr. Ansanelli’s Co2 laser work is the ability to laze the surgical bed post tumor removal. This additional damage free sterilization is a tremendous benefit to the patient by removing the microscopic cancer cells remaining in the surgical site. The Ansanelli Co2 laser technique also enables a cosmetic repair. (Read further in Procedure Page). This unique reconstruction is also a damage free process. Additional cosmetic benefits with The Ansanelli Co2 Laser Technique, incisions are bloodless and more finite in comparison to cautery and knife procedures. This lack of cell damage, a unique property of the Co2 laser, enables the healing process to be improved despite the patient's individual healing capabilities. A contrast to the cell-damaging features ensconced by the limitations of typical surgical options with knife and cautery tools.

Links to information on Electro surgery, and natural electrical features in the body.


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