The basic principles of laser treatment are similar to other ablative techniques. The laser type most fre quently utilised is Nd:YAG. The energy is emitted by optical fibres, which are positioned in the tumour under ultrasound monitoring. Each fibre, with a power of 2-2.5 W, produces a sphere-shaped coagu-lative necrosis with a 1.5-2 cm diameter. To increase the size of the treated area, several methods have been used, such as the instantaneous application of more fibres or the cooling of the fibre end. The indications for treatment with laser therapy are similar to those for other thermo-ablation techniques. The treatment may be applied with a percutaneous approach with ultrasound, CT or RM. Post-operative mortality is zero and complications observed in the post-operative phase are rare and usually slight (pain, pleural effusions, hepatic abscesses). Moreover, occasional cases of neoplastic seedings along the needle tract have been reported in the literature. The results are similar to those achieved with other thermo-ablation methods, with a more limited effectiveness in lesions larger than 3 cm. A peculiarity in the use of the laser is its complete compatibility with MR equipment.
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