Laser Vision Correction Laser Vision Correction
The Free Medical Dictionary by Farlex

DEFINITION: Laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) surgery uses an intensely hot, precisely focused beam of light to remove or vaporize tissue and control bleeding in a wide variety of non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures. PURPOSE—-Laser surgery is used to: Cut or destroy tissue that is abnormal or diseased without harming healthy, normal tissue Shrink or destroy tumors and lesions Cauterize (seal) blood vessels to prevent excessive bleeding. PRECAUTION Anyone who is thinking about having laser surgery should ask his doctor to: Explain why laser surgery is likely to be more beneficial than traditional surgery Describe his experience in performing the laser procedure the patient is considering. Because some lasers can temporarily or permanently discolor the skin of Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, a dark-skinned patient should make sure that his surgeon has successfully performed laser procedures on people of color. Some types of laser surgery should not be performed on pregnant women or on patients with severe cardiopulmonary disease or other serious health problems. DESCRIPTION: The first working laser was introduced in 1960. The device was initially used to treat diseases and disorders of the eye, whose transparent tissues gave ophthalmic surgeons a clear view of how the narrow, concentrated beam was being directed. Dermatologic surgeons also helped pioneer laser surgery, and developed and improved upon many early techniques and more refined surgical procedures. TYPES OF LASER: The three types of lasers most often used in medical treatment are the: Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser. Primarily a surgical tool, this device converts light energy to heat strong enough to minimize bleeding while it cuts through or vaporizes tissue. Neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser. Capable of penetrating tissue more deeply than other lasers, the Nd:YAG makes blood clot quickly and can enable surgeons to see and work on parts of the body that could otherwise be reached only through open (invasive) surgery. Argon laser. This laser provides the limited penetration needed for eye surgery and superficial skin disorders. In a special procedure known as photodynamic therapy (PDT), this laser uses light. sensitive dyes to shrink or dissolve tumors. LASER APPLICATIONS: Sometimes described as “scalpels of light,” lasers are used alone or with conventional surgical instruments in a diverse array of procedures that: improve appearance relieve pain restore function save lives