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Laser therapy


Definition:

Laser therapy is a medical treatment that uses a strong beam of light to cut, burn, or destroy tissue. The term LASER stands for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation."

Information:

The laser light beam does not pose health risks to the patient or medical team. Laser treatment has the same risks as open surgery, including pain, bleeding, and scarring. But recovery time from laser surgery is usually faster than recovery from open surgery.

Lasers can be used for many medical purposes. Because the laser beam is so small and precise, it allows health care providers to safely treat tissue without injuring the surrounding area.

Lasers are often used to:

Lasers are also often used during skin surgery.

References:

Atebara NH, Thall EH. Principles of lasers. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap 2.4.

Neumayer L, Vargo D. Principles of preoperative and operative surgery: surgical devices and energy sources. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 11.

Sakamoto FH, Avram MM, Anderson RR. Lasers and other energy technologies: principles and skin interactions. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 136.


Review Date: 7/28/2015
Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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