• An argon-ion laser, coupled to a flexible fiberoptic endoscope, was used to photocoagulate experimentally produced bleeding gastric ulcers in dogs. Argon-ion laser phototherapy rapidly and effectively achieved hemostasis in all bleeding ulcers. Bleeding arteries up to 2 mm in diameter were photocoagulated. Intact normal gastric mucosa was exposed to laser energy for varying periods of time to determine if transmural photothermal injury occurred. Exposure for greater than 15 seconds at 1.0 w of throughput power caused microscopical evidence of transmural injury. Healed, laser-treated ulcers could not be differentiated from nontreated control ulcers or normal stomach one month after injury. The Beer law and the heat-transfer factors relating to soft tissues are discussed. The coupled argon-ion laser-endoscope may be a safe tool to treat self-limited superficial bleeding gastric lesions.
(Arch Surg 111:750-755, 1976)