Laser therapy

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Definition

Laser therapy is any treatment using intense beams of light to precisely cut, burn, or destroy tissue. The term laser is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation."

Alternative Names

Information

The laser light beam comes from radiation sources so small and safe that it poses no health risks to the patient or medical team.

Lasers can be used for many medical purposes. Because the laser beam is so small and precise, it allows doctors to safely treat tissue without injuring the surrounding area. Lasers may be used to remove growths or cauterize blood vessels.

Lasers may also be used during the following procedures:

References

Garrett CG, Ossoff RH, Reinisch L. Laser surgery: basic principles and safety considerations. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 3.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/14/2012
  • Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

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This page was last updated: April 14, 2014

         
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