Today, Cooley Dickinson Hospital affiliated physician Dr. Michael Stamm used a laser to remove pre-cancerous lesions from a middle-aged person’s vocal cords.
In a first-of-its-kind surgery at the Kittredge Surgery Center, Dr. Stamm performed the surgery with a pulsed Potassium-Titanyl-Phosphate or KTP laser. The laser uses specific wavelengths of light to target blood vessels that feed pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions on patients’ vocal cords.
According to Dr. Stamm, vocal cord lesions – both benign and pre-cancerous – are very common in adults. He says traditional surgeries to remove the lesions typically involved multiple surgeries that stripped away the leukoplakia or the build up of white plaque. Patients would wait for the plaque to regenerate and then they would undergo a repeat surgery. Multiple surgeries meant general anesthesia as well as the inconvenience that is often associated with having surgery.
In contrast, “using the KTP laser is a minimally invasive approach that is more precise and is less likely to damage the delicate vocal cord tissue,” Dr. Stamm, a board certified ear, nose and throat specialist says, noting that the laser treatment typically lasts about 10 minutes.
Because the laser treatment requires local anesthesia versus the general anesthesia, “patients can return to their normal activities immediately after the procedure,” he adds.
Previously, Dr. Stamm sent patients to Boston-area hospitals for the KTP laser treatments but has since worked out an arrangement with Cooley Dickinson Hospital to provide KTP laser treatment closer to home for Pioneer Valley residents.
To learn more, contact Dr. Michael Stamm of Pioneer Valley ENT Surgeons at 586-7100.###
Cooley Dickinson Hospital • 30 Locust St. (Route 9), Northampton, Mass. • (413) 582-2000