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Laser Surgery for Vaginal Pre-Cancer

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In laser surgery, a beam of high-energy light is used to vaporize the abnormal tissue. This treatment works well for vaginal pre-cancer (vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia or VAIN), and can even be used for large lesions (areas of abnormal cells). It can be repeated, if needed, and rarely causes problems or side effects.

Still, this is not a treatment for invasive cancer. For laser surgery to be an option, the doctor must be certain that the worst lesion was tested and it's not invasive cancer.

For more information on laser surgery, see Lasers in Cancer Treatment.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

National Cancer Institute. Vaginal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version. October 13, 2017. Accessed at on March 12, 2018.

Piovano E, Macchi C, Attamante L, et al. CO2 laser vaporization for the treatment of vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia: effectiveness and predictive factors for recurrence. Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2015;36(4):383-388.  

Sopracordevole F, Moriconi L, Di Giuseppe J, et al. Laser Excisional Treatment for Vaginal Intraepithelial Neoplasia to Exclude Invasion: What Is the Risk of Complications? J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2017;21(4):311-314.

Last Revised: March 19, 2018

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