Producing a visible and safe blue light, the VELscope VX handpiece is directed into the oral cavity, where it detects natural tissue fluorescence. This is enabled by fluorophore chemical compounds, which when engaged by light in a wavelength such as blue respond through emitting a longer wavelength light such as green.
The importance of detecting abnormal fluorescence patterns centers on being able to observe unhealthy mucosal tissue that might not be detectable with the naked eye. The causes of this degraded tissue can be varied and include cancer-related issues such as premalignant dysplasia. Allowing real-time visualization and analysis, the VELscope screening approach is also useful in enabling surgeons to evaluate the appropriate surgical excision margins.