Few discoveries and inventions in the world of science have had as great an impact as lasers. A laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) can have numerous sues, depending upon what kid it is. From manufacturing to medicine and weaponry, lasers have made significant contributions to every scientific and technological field. The field of medicine in particular has greatly benefitted by incorporating lasers as a key medical tool. There are various types of lasers being used in the field of medicine, each with its own specialization. Here are the top medical uses for different types of lasers:
CO2 lasers are emitted at a particular spectrum that allows water to absorb the light very well. As a result, CO2 lasers are widely used in the treatment of skin conditions. Laser facelifts and dermabrasion are the most common surgical procedures conducted using CO2 lasers. For laser facelifts (or skin resurfacing, as some doctors prefer to call it), a CO2 laser is used to burn the skin in order to promote the formation of collagen. Besides being used to treat skin conditions, scientists are also exploring the possibility of replacing surgical sutures by allowing CO2 leasers to weld human tissue together.
As far as soft tissue procedures are concerned, diode lasers are undoubtedly the number one choice for medical practitioners. Dentists in particular are fond of the properties of diode lasers, including how small they can get without sacrificing ergonomics.
It is possible to achieve a very narrow bandwidth with dye lasers, making them ideal for use in treating a range of conditions. The most common use for dye lasers in medicine is in dermatology, where it is used to help even skin tone and remove tattoos and scars. Along with dermatological applications, dye lasers are also commonly used to treat kidney stones.
The most well-known application of lasers in medicine is for laser eye surgery (LASIK). The type of laser used for this procedure is the excimer laser. What makes the excimer laser unique is that it does not cut biological material like other types of lasers. Instead, the energy from the laser is absorbed by the biological material. This means that excimer lasers do not burn matter and can remove minute layers of biological material, thanks to a process called ablation.
The introduction of free-electron lasers to medicine is a very recent development. Just like excimer lasers, free-electron lasers work on the principle of ablation. This type of laser is particularly effective for melting fat, while not harming the surrounding skin cells. As a result, free-electron lasers have a number of uses in medicine, depending upon the wavelength. From treating acne to dealing with arteriosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD), the free-electron laser is proving to be a jack-of-all-trades in the field of medicine and surgery.
Although diverse, the use of lasers in medicine has yet to hit a limit. As scientists further explore the strengths and weaknesses of different types of lasers, it is guaranteed that the scientific community will find more uses for it in the medical field.
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