Carbon dioxide laser ablation (removal) may have a role as an alternative treatment for a common precancerous skin lesion known as lentigo maligna when surgery or radiation therapy is not feasible, according to a report in the November/December issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.
According to background information in the article, lentigo maligna (LM) is a common premalignant skin lesion typically seen in older populations with a history of chronic sun damage and it is commonly located in the head and neck region. The lesion may progress to LM melanoma (LMM), which has the same prognosis as other forms of melanoma.
Haemi Lee, MD, and colleagues at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, conducted a retrospective case series review of all patients with primary lentigo maligna diagnosed and treated in London, Ontario between July 2, 1991 and June 29, 2010. The researchers assessed outcomes in managing primary LM through surgical excision (removal), radiation therapy, and carbon dioxide laser ablation. The carbon dioxide laser exerts its effect on tissue by vaporization of water-containing cells.