Doctors are now turning to modern technology to replace the medical equipment of the past. Basic x-rays were replaced with ultrasounds, and now, the scalpel blade has been replaced with lasers. Surgical lasers can be used in various types of procedures, and they have benefits for both the patient and the surgeon when used in the surgical suite.
Procedures for Surgical Lasers
Laser surgery, which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, uses special beams of light to cut through tissue. Since it acts like a scalpel blade, any surgery that requires cutting can be adapted for lasers. Each laser type produces a certain strength light beam based on the number of wavelengths traveling through the device.
Some of the common surgeries that can be performed with a laser include:
- Eye surgery like LASIK
- Soft tissue surgery involving the stomach, bladder or other internal organs
- Surgery to remove warts or lesions
- Treatment of specific cancers
- Surgery to correct spinal conditions
Benefits of Surgical Lasers
Surgical lasers create more precise incisions than scalpels. Since tissues are not cut as deeply, they are less inflamed in recovery. When tissue inflammation is decreased, swelling, redness and pain noted by a patient after surgery are also reduced. CO2 lasers, which are common in soft tissue surgery, have the added benefits of sealing nerve endings to decrease pain and effectively killing any bacteria within the surgical light beam.
For the doctor, lasers can be used for surgeries where a scalpel blade may not be probable. Surgical lasers also seal bleeding vessels as they cut which decreases patient bleeding and allows a better visual of the surgical field. Overall, this allows for a more efficient surgery.
Surgical lasers are replacing conventional scalpel blades thanks to their ability to adapt. With surgical lasers, surgeons can feel confident in their technique and can provide patients with a smoother recovery.