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Laser therapies are medical treatments that use focused light. Laser light is a very special kind of light. Unlike most light sources, it is tuned to very specific wavelengths. This allows it to be focused into powerful beams. Laser light is so intense it can be used to shape diamonds or cut steel.
In medicine, lasers offer surgeons the ability to work very precisely. They can focus on a small area and damage less of the surrounding tissue. Patients who have laser therapy may experience less pain, swelling, and scarring than with traditional surgery. However, laser therapy is expensive. It may also require repeated treatments.
Laser stands for: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
Laser therapy is used in many procedures. It may be used to:
Lasers can have a cauterizing (sealing) effect. They may be used to seal:
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), lasers may be useful in treating the very early stages of cancers such as:
When used in cancer treatment, laser therapy is usually used alongside other treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.
Laser therapy is also used cosmetically. It can:
Laser therapy techniques vary based on the specific procedure being performed. For example, if a tumor is being treated, a flexible endoscope may be used to direct the laser. This is a thin, lighted tube used to view tissues inside the body.
The endoscope is inserted through an opening in the body, such as the mouth. The surgeon then aims the laser and shrinks or destroys the tumor.
In contrast, for cosmetic procedures, lasers are often applied directly to the skin.
Different lasers are used for different procedures:
Laser therapy has some risks. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), the risks for skin therapy include:
There are other potential downsides to laser therapy.
There are many potential benefits of receiving laser therapy:
Written by: Natalie Phillips and Tim Jewellon: Nov 07, 2016
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