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Comparison of CO2 laser and 4·0 MHz radiosurgery for making incisions in the skin and muscles of green iguanas (Iguana iguana)
  1. S. J. Hernández-Divers, BVetMed, DZooMed, DACZM, MRCVS1,
  2. S. J. Stahl, DVM, DABVP(Avian)3,
  3. P. M. Rakich, DVM, PhD, DACVP2 and
  4. U. Blas-Machado, DVM, PhD, DACVP2
  1. 1 Zoological Medicine, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  2. 2 Pathology, Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
  3. 3 Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services, 111A Center Street South, Vienna, VA 22180, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: shdivers{at}


Four green iguanas scheduled for euthanasia were used to compare the extent of collateral tissue damage associated with CO2 laser and 4·0 MHz radiosurgery. The iguanas were anaesthetised and a series of three skin and three muscle incisions was made by 4·0 MHz radiosurgery (0·18 mm wire electrode, 25 W, cut mode) and CO2 laser (0·3 mm ceramic tip, 15 W focused beam super-pulse mode), and three incisions were made with a scalpel blade as controls. Following euthanasia, a total of 60 skin and 36 muscle sections were evaluated histologically. Radiosurgery and the laser both produced bloodless incisions, but radiosurgery caused significantly less collateral tissue damage in the skin (307 [97] v 386 [108] µm) and the muscle (18 [7] v 91 [15] µm).

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