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Alternative Names Return to topSurgery using a laser
Definition Return to top
Laser surgery is a medical procedure that uses laser light to remove diseased tissues or treat bleeding blood vessels. Laser surgery may also be used for cosmetic purposes, such as removing wrinkles, tattoos, or birthmarks.
Description Return to top
A laser is a light beam that can be precisely focused. It is used to treat tissues by heating the targeted cells until they "burst."
There are several types of lasers, including the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, the YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) laser, and the pulsed dye laser. Each laser has specific uses. The color of the light beam used is directly related to the type of surgery being performed and the color of the tissue being treated.
Why the Procedure is Performed Return to top
Laser surgery can be used to:
Risks Return to top
Possible risks of laser surgery include:
Some laser surgery is done when you under general anesthesia. Be sure to discuss the risks with your health care provider.
After the Procedure Return to top
How well a patient does depends on the condition being treated. Always talk to your health care provider about your expected recovery before surgery.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The amount of time it takes to recover from surgery depends on the surgery and on the individual. Based on an evaluation of your health status prior to surgery, your health care provider can give you a good estimate of the recovery time.Update Date: 10/28/2008 Updated by: Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.