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Clinical Management of Port-Wine Stain in Infants and Young Children Using the Flashlamp-Pulsed Dye Laser


The flashlamp-pulsed dye laser (FLPDL) at 585 nm, a wavelength well absorbed by oxyhemoglobin, causes highly selective vascular injury. In addition, the 450 microsecond pulse duration produced by this laser approximates the thermal relaxation time for dermal blood vessels thereby confining the energy to the target. This new laser effects excellent lightening of port-wine stain (PWS) in infants and young children without the adverse complications of hypertrophic scarring, permanent pigmentation abnormality, or textural changes, complications often seen with conventional laser systems. The FLPDL now permits treatment of this patient population expected to gain the most benefit from early laser therapy in a much safer manner, before the psychological complications of being a "marked" person develop. The purpose of this report is to: (1) describe the theoretical considerations behind achieving selective removal of PWS that can be understood and used by a nonsurgically-oriented practitioner; and (2) describe the practical application of the device used in the clinical management of infants and young children.

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