Everything to Know About Thulium Fiber Laser
The recent technological advancements in medical science have paved the way for better medical treatment and an excellent patient experience. In addition, the use of cutting-edge medical equipment has helped healthcare professionals deliver better results in less time. The Thulium Fiber Laser (TFL) is one such technology that has revolutionized the healthcare space. Although laser technologies have been around for a while, nothing is close to the thulium fiber laser machine. Read on to learn more about the remarkable thulium fiber laser technology.
What is the thulium fiber laser?
What’s unique about the thulium fiber laser technology is that it uses thulium-doped silica fiber as the active laser medium. These long and thin fibers make it perfect for complex medical procedures. Numerous diode lasers channel energy through the fiber to produce thulium ions. The wavelength at which photons are emitted is 1940 nanometers (nm). Doctors can choose from two operating modes with TFL, including continuous and pulse modes.
The best thing about the TFL technology is the availability of different energy, pulse shape, and frequency settings. It offers seven levels of pulse width, much higher than the traditional standards of three provided by other laser devices. The frequency range is up to 2500 Hz, allowing doctors more flexibility in removing different types of stones. The pulse emission mode offered by TFL makes stone lithotripsy accessible and allows for rigorous tissue dissection.
Prominent applications of TFL technology
Minimally invasive surgical procedures have become the main goal for most doctors. The chances of success with minimally invasive surgical procedures can be high when you have the right equipment. Patients prefer these procedures over traditional surgeries as the risk is much low. Laser technologies are used for conducting a wide range of urological surgeries. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most prominent applications of thulium fiber laser technology.
Kidney stone management
One of the main applications of thulium laser technology is kidney stone management. It is used to conduct a flexible ureteroscopy that helps to remove the kidney and ureteric stones. Ureteroscopy is a medical procedure used to examine the upper urinary tract. This tract goes to the ureter through the urethra and the bladder. TFL allows for a minimally invasive stone management procedure without breaking significant skin barriers.
Soft tissue treatment
Soft tissue injuries are prevalent nowadays. It happens due to the overuse of ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It can also occur due to a trauma impacting the muscles, ligaments or tendons. Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) is a soft tissue treatment that can be effectively cured using the TFL technology. BPH is also referred to as prostate gland enlargement in simple terms. The enlargement can lead to difficulty in urination and therefore requires special care. There are different types of laser treatment for treating BPH, including endoscopic enucleation, ablation, vaporization. TFL can be leveraged to treat this condition effectively.
Bladder cancer is caused when the bladder cells start to grow abnormally, which leads to a tumor. There are different types of bladder tumors. Non-invasive bladder cancer can be treated effectively using a transurethral approach. However, the traditional medical procedures used to treat bladder tumors carry the risk of thermal damage to nearby tissues. Research studies have shown that TFL can provide a better treatment of non-invasive bladder cancers as it offers decreased penetration depth and carbonization.
Advantages of TFL over Ho: YAG
The Holmium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (Ho: YAG) is a term for a group of solid-state laser technologies that leverages Holmium in a laser crystal. Holmium is a rare earth material that is used in this technology. This pulsed laser technology produces light at around 2100 nanometers (2.1 microns). It is primarily used for lithotripsy and soft-tissue treatment. TFL is relatively new and is considered a better alternative for urological procedures. Let’s take a quick look into some critical advantages of TFL over Ho: YAG.
- Compared to Ho: YAG, the TFL technology offers increased confinement, resulting in a four-times lower ablation threshold. It means that TFL can disintegrate a large volume of stones with the same amount of energy.
- The fluctuations in the shape and peak power of pulse generated through Ho: YAG is high. However, TFL pulses have a uniform rectangular shape, and the peak has minimal variations.
- The maximum pulse repetition rate for Ho: YAG is around 100 Hz, whereas, for TFL, it can go up to 2200 Hz.
The Thulium Fiber Laser technology has been a game-changer for urological procedures. It allows for minimally invasive procedures to team complex medical ailments. In addition, it has proved to be more technologically advanced and stable than its predecessors.