A guided laser ablation device. The device includes a mulitmode laser ablation fiber that is surrounded by one or more single mode optical fibers that are used to image in the vicinity of the laser ablation area to prevent tissue damage. The laser ablation device is combined with an optical coherence domain reflectometry (OCDR) unit and with a control unit which initializes the OCDR unit and a high power laser of the ablation device. Data from the OCDR unit is analyzed by the control unit and used to control the high power laser. The OCDR images up to about 3 mm ahead of the ablation surface to enable a user to see sensitive tissue such as a nerve or artery before damaging it by the laser.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.