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Laser therapy

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."

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.


Review Date: 8/17/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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