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COSMETIC LASER SURGERY
General Information: Use of Lasers in Cosmetic Surgery

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Cosmetic Laser Surgery

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WARNING!
The following is general information on cosmetic laser surgery.
It is not medical advice nor was it authored by a medical professional.
This information may be outdated: visit www.FDA.gov for current news.

Lasers are used in dental procedures, refractive eye surgery, and in general surgery such as tumor removal, cataract removal, breast surgery, and most other surgical procedures.
Visit our page on laser hair removal, as well.

What are lasers?
Surgical lasers are medical devices that use precisely focused light sources to treat or remove tissues.

The term laser stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.

Ordinary light, such as that from a light bulb, has many wavelengths and spreads in all directions. Laser light, on the other hand, has a specific wavelength. It is focused in a narrow beam and creates a very high-intensity light. Because lasers can focus very accurately on tiny areas, they can be used for very precise surgical work or for cutting through tissue (in place of a scalpel).

Procedures

Lasers are used in many types of surgical procedures.
Some examples include:

  • Cosmetic surgery (to remove tattoos, scars, stretch marks, sunspots, wrinkles, birthmarks, spider veins or hair)
  • Refractive eye surgery (to reshape the cornea in order to correct or improve vision as in LASIK or PRK)
  • Dental procedures (such as endodontic/periodontic procedures, tooth whitening, and oral surgery)
  • General surgery (such as tumor removal, cataract removal, breast surgery, plastic surgery and most other surgical procedures)

Risks/Benefits

With proper use, lasers allow the surgeon to accomplish more complex tasks, reduce blood loss, decrease postoperative discomfort, reduce the chance of wound infection, and achieve better wound healing.

As with any type of surgery, laser surgery has potential risks. Risks of laser surgery include incomplete treatment of the problem, pain, infection, bleeding, scarring, and skin color changes.

Check www.FDA.gov for updates, warnings & news on cosmetic laser surgery.

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