Utility and safety of the flexible-fiber CO2 laser in endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery.World Neurosurg. 2011 Jul-Aug; 76(1-2):149-55.WN
This study sought to report on the utility and safety of the flexible-fiber CO2 laser in endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery.
A retrospective chart review identified 16 patients who underwent laser-assisted transsphenoidal surgery. All tumor pathology types were considered. Results were assessed based on hormone status, tumor size, pathology, complications, and resection rates.
Sixteen pituitary lesions (pituitary adenomas, 12; Rathke cleft cyst, 2; pituitary cyst and craniopharyngioma, 1 each) with an average size of 22.7 mm were identified by radiographic and pathologic criteria. All patients underwent flexible-fiber CO2 laser-assisted endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery. Of the adenomas, 8 were nonsecreting and 4 were secreting (3 prolactinomas and 1 ACTH secreting). Gross total resection was achieved in 7 of 16 patients (43.75%) with hormone remission in all patients (100%) after a mean follow-up of 19.3 months. Postoperative complications occurred in 3 patients (18.75%): 2 patients developed transient diabetes insipidus (DI) and 1 developed a CSF leak requiring surgical repair. Five patients (31.25%) underwent postoperative radiation to the residual lesions.
We found that CO2-laser-assisted endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery for sellar tumors is a minimally invasive approach using a tool that is quick and effective at cutting and coagulation. The surgery has a low rate of complication, and no laser-related complications were encountered. The laser fiber allows the surgeon to safely cut and coagulate without the line-of-sight problems encountered with conventional CO2 lasers. Further studies are recommended to further define its role in endoscopic endonasal sellar surgery.