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Alternative namesSurgery using laser
DefinitionLaser surgery uses a laser light source to remove diseased tissues or treat bleeding blood vessels. The laser may also be used for cosmetic purposes, including removal of wrinkles, tattoos, or birthmarks.
DescriptionA laser is a light beam that can be precisely focused. It is used to treat tissues by heating the targeted cells until they "burst".
There are several types of lasers, including the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, the YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) laser, and the pulsed dye laser. Each laser has specific uses. The color of the laser (light beam) used is directly related to the type of surgery being performed and the color of the tissue being treated.
IndicationsLaser surgery can be used to:
As with any type of surgery, laser surgery is not without risks. Possible problems include incomplete treatment of the problem, pain, infection, bleeding, scarring, and skin color changes.
Some laser surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Be sure to discuss the risks of general anesthesia with your anesthesiologist.
Expectations after surgeryYour outcome and recovery period will vary significantly, depending on the condition being treated. Always consult your health care provider about your prognosis and recovery period before surgery.
ConvalescenceThe amount of time it takes to recover from surgery depends on the surgery and on the individual. Based on an evaluation of your health status prior to surgery, your health care provider can give you a good estimate of the recovery time.
Update Date: 4/17/2003Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT