2024 VLSS • May 3-4, 2024 • San Diego, CA

Speakers, Presentation Titles, Abstracts and Biographical Highlights

Ordered by Presentation Date and Time

Friday, May 3, 2024

Peter Vitruk, PhD, MInstP, CPhys

Friday, 8:05 am – 8:55 am

Peter Vitruk, PhD, MInstP, CPhys

Laser Beam Optimization for Soft Tissue Surgeries

Abstract

This presentation is a Physicist’s perspective on the most important and critical controls available to laser surgeons with respect to Depth of Incision and the Depth of Coagulation/Hemostasis: Wavelength. Power. Pulsing. Spot Size. These fundamental concepts of laser surgery will be abundantly illustrated with the videos. The difference between the ablative and non-ablative laser wavelengths will be explained as well as their relevance to soft tissue laser surgery.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Peter Vitruk was born and raised in Ukraine. He earned his PhD degree in Physics from the Moscow Physics and Technology Institute, Moscow in the late 1980s in the former USSR. In the 1990s he held a Research Scientist position with The Academy of Sciences in the former USSR and then a Royal Society Visiting Research Fellow position at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. He later worked as Senior Scientist with Synrad Inc. in Seattle, WA, and then as Chief Scientist with Luxar/ESC/Lumenis also in Seattle, WA. In 2002 Dr. Vitruk founded Luxarcare LLC – an exclusive certified Luxar laser service and accessories provider for 12,000+ surgical Luxar laser installations around the globe. In 2005 he founded Aesculight LLC and LightScalpel LLC – the only American-based designer and manufacturer of surgical CO2 lasers for small office out-patient market. Dr. Vitruk has authored 10 patents and over 20 articles on CO2 lasers, and is a Member of The Institute of Physics, UK. In 2017 he founded the American Laser Study Club, an educational platform that helps physicians, dentists, veterinarians, and practice staff members to excel at the efficient and safe application of laser energy in everyday practice. He is married to his wife of 34 years Natasha and they together have two children, Olga and Alexander.

Ray Arza, DVM

Friday, 9:05 am – 9:55 am

Ray Arza, DVM

Light Time on Tissue: The Key to Optimal Results

Abstract

CO2 Surgical lasers provide tremendous benefits to most soft tissue surgical procedures. To obtain maximum benefit from this technology, surgeons must understand some basic but very foundational core principles. This presentation identifies the most important concepts that veterinary surgeons must understand and apply in order to maximize the benefits of CO2 while minimizing thermal collateral insult to tissue. These core principles will allow the surgeon to critically think through any soft tissue surgical procedure and utilize this technology to obtain optimal surgical results.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Arza earned his DVM degree at the University of Tennessee in 1979. He was a small animal general practitioner for 23 years with a special interest in surgery and dentistry. Dr. Arza started using a surgical laser in 1998 and soon thereafter became a popular lecturer at conferences, universities, and seminars on CO2 laser surgery. In 2002, he left private practice to join the industry as an educator, trainer, consultant, lecturer, and independent manufacturer representative of surgical lasers. In 2006, he became the first sales representative for Aesculight veterinary surgical lasers and has been intimately involved with developing and advancing the Aesculight and VetScalpel surgical lasers. In January of 2021, he became Co-Director of Sales in North America for Aesculight.

Friday, 10:05 am – 11:35 am

Michael Canfield, DVM, Dipl. ACVD

CO2 Laser: The True Surgical Multi-Tool for All Soft-Tissue Surgery

Abstract

CO2 laser surgical intervention will be discussed from the perspective of a companion animal practitioner and board-certified veterinary dermatologist. A multitude of different procedures will be reviewed through photos and videos. Typical and less common applications of the CO2 laser will be demonstrated through clinical cases.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Canfield graduated from Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine and entered the profession as an eager small animal clinician. Dr. Canfield’s interests in dermatology flourished, ultimately leading him to accept an American College of Veterinary Dermatology-approved dermatology residency with Animal Dermatology Clinic located in Tustin, California. Following three years of intense training, Dr. Canfield completed his residency with the Animal Dermatology Clinic and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. Dr. Canfield enjoys dermatology, including allergic skin diseases, ear diseases, and endocrinopathies (hormone-related diseases). Additionally, Dr. Canfield enjoys traditional surgery, cryosurgery, laser surgery, and internal medicine.

Dr. Canfield has provided continuing education for veterinarians and veterinary technicians locally and nationally.

John Godbold Jr., DVM

Friday, 12:50 pm – 1:50 pm

John Godbold Jr., DVM

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome: The CO2 Laser Paradigm Shift

Abstract

Today veterinary medicine is much better equipped to address the surgical needs of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) patients. Understanding the pathogenesis of BOAS has increased, along with appreciation for the multiple morbidities that accompany genetic selection for brachycephaly. Advancement of CO2 laser surgery techniques and earlier surgical intervention by an increasing number of primary care practitioners using the laser have dramatically improved the welfare of brachycephalic dogs. This paradigm shift has resulted in more accessible and improved management of BOAS patients. The next paradigm shift must be toward more active involvement of the veterinary profession in helping predisposed breeds evolve with more normal conformation.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Godbold graduated with honors from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. In 1980, he established Stonehaven Park Veterinary Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee where he practiced full time as a solo small animal practitioner for 33 years. Dr. Godbold currently works full time with Stonehaven Veterinary Consulting, teaching and assisting colleagues, and working in the development of new technologies.

Since 1999, Dr. Godbold has pursued a special interest in the use of laser modalities in small animal practice. He has extensive experience with surgical and therapeutic lasers, has developed new surgical and therapeutic techniques, and assists equipment manufacturers with their technologies.

Dr. Godbold has published numerous papers, articles, and chapters about the use of lasers in small animal practice. His publications have appeared in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Clinician’s Brief, Laserpoints, The Feline Patient, Laser Surgery in Veterinary Medicine, Laser Therapy in Veterinary Medicine – Photobiomodulation, Today’s Veterinary Practice, Veterinary Practice News, The Integrative Veterinary Care Journal and the Newsletter of the Veterinary Surgical Laser Society.

Dr. Godbold published the internationally distributed Atlas of CO2 Laser Surgery Procedures in 2002, with a new edition each year since. He is co‐editor and a chapter contributor of the 2017 textbook Laser Therapy in Veterinary Medicine ‐ Photobiomodulation, published by Wiley‐Blackwell.

In high demand as a continuing education speaker, Dr. Godbold has led over 700 laser and thermal imaging workshops, wet‐labs, and continuing education meetings throughout North America and in over 25 countries around the world.

Boaz Man, DVM

Friday, 2:00 pm – 2:50 pm

Boaz Man, DVM

Breathing Easy: Navigating Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome in General Practice

Abstract

As veterinarians, we have all taken an oath to “use our scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.” Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is, without question, an animal welfare issue that we can and must address in general practice.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Man, a South Florida native, has been passionate about caring for pets’ needs since childhood. Beginning at 13, Boaz spent every summer and school holiday working at veterinary hospitals in preparation for his dream to become a veterinarian. Dr. Man completed his Bachelors in Biology with a Double Minor in Chemistry and Judaic Studies from the University of Miami in 1999.

Dr. Man earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University in 2004 after completing his clinical training at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Man then completed an internship with board-certified internists, surgeons, and critical care veterinarians at Palm Beach Veterinary Specialists. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Man has been serving clients and patients at several prominent animal hospitals in South Florida. In 2013 Dr. Man became the owner and medical director of Boca Midtowne Animal Hospital, which is AAHA accredited, and he is proud to be a fear-free certified veterinarian. Dr. Man is an editorial advisory board member for DVM 360 & contributes regularly with his educational social media content and publications for the magazine. Dr. Man serves as a practice management advisor for fear-free and has recently been invited to lecture on hot topics in veterinary medicine in San Diego & Las Vegas, including digital cytology & high-power laser surgery.

Dr. Man resides in Boca Raton with his wife Jade, their three children Leia, Ruby, and Max, and their rescued dogs named Millie and Elvis. He believes in providing the highest quality of care to his patients and those that love them and has special interests in dermatology, internal medicine, and surgery. Dr. Man takes great pride in his commitment to practicing state-of-the-art medicine and diagnostics. He believes staying up to date with technology is one of the many essential keys to practicing good medicine. Most importantly, Dr. Man is dedicated to giving pet parents the guidance they need to make informed decisions with regard to their pet’s health.

Friday, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Jason Pieper, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVD

CO2 Laser – The Perfect Solution for Dermatological Conditions

Abstract

CO2 laser use in veterinary medicine has increased significantly with a multitude of applications in dermatology. At the same time, the French bulldog has become the most common breed and they commonly are affected with dermatological problems. While there is a learning curve with CO2 laser, it is very user friendly with the skin. We will walk through some clinical applications, noting good and bad technique, throughout the presentation while covering some of the more common dermatological uses in the brachycephalic breeds. These applications include excision and ablation of masses, follicular cysts, interdigital furunculosis, chronic proliferative and obstructive otitis externa and masses within the ear canal.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Jason Pieper an assistant professor of dermatology at Iowa State University, where he also earned his DVM. Dr. Pieper completed a rotating internship in the greater Chicago area, a dermatology internship in Phoenix, Arizona, and a dermatology residency at University of Illinois, where he also earned his MS. His areas of specialty and research interest include communication, platelet rich plasma, dermoscopy, CO2 laser, dermatophytosis, and dermatohistopathology.

jakub kaczmarek

Friday, 4:10 pm – 5:40 pm

Jakub Kaczmarek, DVM, Dipl. ECVS, Dipl. EBVS

Are you really maximizing the use of your CO2 laser?

Abstract

CO2 surgical lasers allow bloodless and less painful surgery. As a result, one gets a clear visualization, faster surgical time, and excellent healing. Correct surgical technique is necessary for desired results and safety. This presentation will comprehensively explain major points a surgeon must consider regarding the power, setup, and technique that will achieve optimal results using CO2 laser technology.

Biographical Highlights

After graduating the veterinary studies in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2013, Dr. Kazcmarek completed a two-year Internship at Tierklinik, Birkenfeld, Germany, where he later transitioned to the role of a junior surgeon. In 2016-2019, he undertook the ECVS Residency Program at AniCura Kleintierspezialisten Augsburg, where he served as a Senior Surgeon at AniCura Kleintierspezialisten Augsburg in 2019-2020.

In 2021, Dr. Kaczmarek obtained the ECVS Diploma, becoming Poland’s first and only Small Animal Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. Subsequently, in 2021, Kaczmarek took on the role of Senior Surgeon at Tierklinik Elversberg, Germany, before transitioning to his current position as Senior Surgeon at VETACARE in Erftstadt, Germany, in 2022.

Dr. Kaczmarek’s dedication to advancing veterinary science is evident not only in his clinical work but also in his contributions to research and education. In 2018, he was honored with the Best Free Communication award at the 5th World Veterinary Orthopaedic Congress (WVOC) ESVOT/VOS in Barcelona, Spain, for his work on the mechanical performance of a new polyaxial locking system and the influence of screw angulation in a fracture gap model.

As an active AO Vet and ESVOT member, Dr. Kaczmarek has shared his knowledge and expertise through lectures across Europe and America. Additionally, he has contributed to the field through numerous published papers covering topics such as laser surgery, surgery, orthopedics, and biomechanics.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

John Arza

Saturday, 8:45 am – 9:45 am

John Arza

Introduction to Hands-On Laser Surgery Techniques and Principles

Abstract

At VetScalpel, we believe that experienced surgeons can become good and experienced CO2 laser surgeons by understanding a few core principles of CO2 laser surgery and putting those into practice. Furthermore, with the development of contemporary technique over the latter part of the last decade, most CO2 laser surgeons are missing out on the even greater potential benefits of their laser. This talk will lay out exercises that will help you grasp and implement these core principles and elevate your surgical practice.

Biographical Highlights

John Arza earned his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from Liberty University in 2016. He engaged in undergraduate epigenetics research for Alzheimer’s disease at both Liberty University and the University of Louisville Medical School. After graduating, he entered work in the human healthcare field and has now been with VetScalpel since 2021 in training development. Since then, he has been intricately involved in developing the current training process and has trained over 120 clinics. He is passionate about using the knowledge and experience of veterinarian experts in the CO2 laser to make the technology and optimal medical results more accessible to every veterinarian.

At this time, attendees will be split up into three groups. These groups will rotate between the following breakout sessions:

Saturday, Breakout Session (Variable Times)

Ray Arza, DVM;
Michael Canfield, DVM, Dipl. ACVD;
John Godbold, Jr., DVM
John Arza

Hands-On Laser Surgery Techniques and Principles

Abstract

The program Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgical Laser Hands-On Participation Workshop focuses on the practical aspects of veterinary soft tissue CO2 laser surgery, as well as on the fundamental processes involved in the laser-tissue interaction. The workshop is designed to help attendees learn how deep the laser beam cuts and how deep coagulation and hemostasis extend into the surgical margins. Participants will be able to understand the basics of laser physics and laser–tissue interaction, laser safety, adjusting laser parameters (such as power, fluence, pulsing, and hand speed) for selected procedures, and how surgical lasers are utilized for general practice procedures, dermatological and dental applications. The hands-on participation lab is designed to train attendees to perform incision, excision, dissection and ablation safely and efficiently. No previous knowledge of surgical lasers is required, and experienced practitioners will learn something new as well.

Saturday, Breakout Session (Variable Times)

Jakub Kaczmarek, DVM, Dipl. ECVS; &
Jason Pieper, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVD

Laser Use In Specialty Practice – Panel Discussion and Q&A

Abstract

This panel discussion offers an educational deep dive into the application of CO2 laser technology within specialty veterinary practice. The session will explore how CO2 lasers contribute to precise and effective surgical and dermatological treatments, emphasizing their role in minimizing tissue trauma and improving healing. The presenters and attendees will discuss essential technical considerations, including the adjustment of power settings and the execution of specialized techniques. The panel will also address safety measures and procedural protocols to optimize outcomes and patient welfare. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with the experts, gaining practical knowledge and understanding of CO2 laser technology’s impact on specialty veterinary care.

Saturday, Breakout Session (Variable Times)

Boaz Man, DVM; &
Noel Berger, DVM, MS

Laser Use In General Practice – Panel Discussion and Q&A

Abstract

The panel discussion will focus on applying lasers across various common procedures, including routine surgeries, removing lumps and bumps, spaying and neutering, oral surgery, and more. The discussion aims to provide practical insights into the versatility of lasers in handling everyday veterinary challenges, highlighting procedural benefits such as reduced bleeding, less post-operative pain, and quicker recovery times. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the speakers, enhancing their understanding and application of laser technology in diverse clinical settings.

Biographical Highlights for Noel Berger, DVM, MS

Noel Berger DVM, MS, DABLS is a 1988 graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell. He also earned an MS degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences in 1989 from Cornell University by studying Feline Leukemia testing and vaccination responses. Following a residency in pathology at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, MA, he entered private small animal veterinary practice and has been a clinician for over 35 years.

He was certified in 2000 by the American Board of Laser Surgery in veterinary surgery, physics, and safety. He is the first author of several peer-reviewed papers in veterinary laser surgery, laboratory diagnostics, and stem cell therapy. These works were published in prestigious journals such as JAVMA, Cornell Vet, DVM News, and Vet Med SA Practice. He has co-authored several book chapters (Gotthelf LN, Small Animal Ear Diseases: An Illustrated Guide; BSAVA, Manual of Canine and Feline Surgical Principles; Winkler CJ, Laser Surgery in Veterinary Medicine) and published a textbook on small animal laser surgery in 2006 with his co-author, Dr. Peter Eeg.

Dr. Berger created Boston Road Animal Clinic in 1993 and highlighted laser surgery as a primary focus of the mission and purpose of the practice. He sold that entity in 2009 to an associate and then relocated to Charlotte, NC. There, he bought a coastal small animal practice, naming it the Animal Hospital and Laser Center of South Carolina. This practice was also sold several years later. Dr. Berger then took a sabbatical for a year as a Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian. This career move was unsatisfying since it did not include laser surgery at all! Returning to a general referral practice in 2019, Dr. Berger continues to advance his surgical skills, and now offers TPLO, MPL, BOAS correction, and other laser-assisted procedures at a specialty hospital in Tampa, FL.

Dr. Berger has completed the requirements of the Laser Institute of America for the safe and judicious use of lasers in surgery. He maintains membership in several laser surgical professional organizations. He holds Fellowship and Faculty status of the American Laser Study Club and delights in teaching the safe techniques required to minimize post-surgical pain and inflammation using lasers. Whatever is next in the world of veterinary laser surgery, you can be assured that Dr. Berger will want to be a part of it.

While his three children are grown and following their own professional quests, Noel and Gayle, his wife of over 31 years, enjoy many pursuits together. They enjoy kayaking, swimming, SCUBA, fishing, and eating food outdoors. Indoor wine tasting is also a newfound hobby that has proven fruitful and intriguing. Thanks for spending some time reading about Dr. Noel Berger, he appreciates your interest.

The ALSC’s 2024 Veterinary Laser Surgery Symposium will be held on May 3-4 in sunny San Diego, CA. It’s the sole yearly assembly for vets concentrating on laser surgery and features lectures and a hands-on lab to upgrade your surgical skills. Meet colleagues, learn from celebrated veterinary surgeons and dermatologists, and explore surgical laser applications, techniques, technologies, science, and safety education.

← Go Back to the Symposium Overview

 

*Information, terms, and conditions in this communication are subject to change without prior notice.