A Guide to Laser Medicine

Lasers can also be used for therapy and treatment of diseases

Laser medicine can be thought of as the usage of laser in different kinds of medical diagnoses. The types of lasers that are utilized are normally diverse. Besides actual medical diagnosis, lasers can also be used for therapy and treatment of diseases. In principle, any laser design can be used in laser medicine. Doctors and other medical personnel began to realize the possibilities for the numerous applications of lasers in medicine. As a result, the number of uses for medical lasers has multiplied over the decades.

The word “laser” itself is an acronym that stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A laser is defined as a beam of monochromatic light that carries with it a high energy. This monochromatic light can be focused on an area with a very fine degree of exactness. Lasers work in two modes: the continuous wave mode and the pulsed mode. In continuous wave operation, the Carbon-dioxide, Krypton, Argon, Neon and Helium lasers are used. In pulsed laser operation, Neodymium and Ruby glass is utilized.

Every single kind of laser differs in terms of the wavelength of light that is released and its peak power output. Surgeons use lasers for different kinds of medical operations. The human body’s various tissues absorb various wavelengths of lasers. As such, different lasers are employed for different applications.

Ruby Laser

Ruby is known as an Aluminum trioxide that features 0.05 percent of Aluminum atoms that are replaced with Chromium atoms. A Ruby laser puts out a red light of 6943 A, energy of 106 Watts and a pulse width of 1us. People with retinal detachment are treated with a Ruby laser. In this treatment, the retina is welded to the choroids since the heat is so extreme. The Ruby laser beam goes through the pupil, cornea, vitreous humor and lens and hits the choroids meeting it at the spot.

Argon Laser

The blue-green range of visible light contains the argon wavelength. It can be transferred by clear fluids without any conversion into heat. It may even go through glass fibers, and it can also be pointed through the optical fiber into a desired area. Red colors easily absorb the argon laser. As such, blood vessels can absorb the light energy and then change it to heat, which results in photocoagulation of your blood protein. This kind of laser is utilized in neurosurgery, microsurgery and in a number of applications for gastrointestinal surgeries.

Laser Diode

A laser diode is defined as a laser that features an active medium that is a semiconductor, which bears similarities to that found in light-emitting diodes. The most common kind of laser diode is made from a p-n junction that is powered by an injected electric current. Diode lasers have been used in medicine and especially in the field of dentistry. Diode lasers in recent years have gotten smaller, and they also have become more user-friendly, which are qualities that have made them increasingly popular among clinicians who like using them for minor soft-tissue surgeries. Laser diodes with an 800 nm to 900 nm range feature a high absorption speed for hemoglobin. Some applications that might make use of the coherence of laser diodes include holography, interferometric distance measurement, coherent control of chemical reactions, and coherent communications.

Carbon-dioxide Laser

A carbon-dioxide laser kills tissues by destroying cells. When touched by this type of laser, tissues that are composed of 80 percent to 90 percent water are destroyed by the steam formation in the cells. The area that is vaporized by the laser is both localized and also does not present any combustion because the intracellular temperatures never go beyond 100 degrees Celsius. Moreover, there is also very little damage to the surrounding areas.

This type of laser is used a lot in surgeries. Today, lasers like this have gotten to be the preferred type when it comes to sicknesses of the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea and oral cavity. A carbon-dioxide laser is used in the treatment of both vaginal as well as cervical neoplasia. For laser surgery to be successful, the area of operation must be totally dry. Anesthetic gases or oxygen should be used to guard against any accidental fires occurring. Such accidental fires may occur if the laser beam gets reflected and, as a result, ends up being centered on the gas itself.