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New Laser Unclogs Arteries in Minutes

A high powered laser which can unblock clogged arteries in a matter of minutes is what scientists in the UK claim to have developed.

The Turbo Elite 'drill' fitted to a new laser, called an Excimer reduces the tissue particles into microscopic particles.

An excimer laser (sometimes more correctly called an exciplex laser) is a form of ultraviolet laser which is commonly used in eye surgery and semiconductor manufacturing.  An excimer laser typically uses a combination of a noble gas (argon, krypton, or xenon) and a reactive gas (fluorine or chlorine). Under the appropriate conditions of electrical stimulation, a pseudo-molecule called an excimer (or in case of noble gas halides, exciplex) is created, which can only exist in an energized state and can give rise to laser light in the ultraviolet range.

The laser is being used in human trials in the University College Hospital in London. Nine people have been treated with the laser successfully so far. The laser has potentially reduced both the operating time and hospital stay.

Instead of spending ten days recovering after the operation the patients can be discharged the very next day after surgery with the new laser. Considering that nearly 85,000 people have to get this treatment done annually there is great potential for the laser.

Joe Brookes a consultant at University College Hospital called it a revolutionary device to unclog arteries, “If patients develop a scarring reaction following angioplasty or stent placement, unwanted tissue can begin to build up on the artery wall which constricts them again. Obviously this puts the patient at further risk. “This latest procedure is a very simple and effective way of vaporizing the tissue in a controlled way to get the blood flowing freely again.”


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