LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, produced by electrically stimulating a particular material, which could be a solid, a liquid, or a gas. Light from a laser is tuned to specific wavelengths which allow it to be focused into powerful beams.
Surgeons employ the various laser wavelengths and laser delivery systems to cut, coagulate, vaporize, and remove tissue. With the use of lasers surgeon can accomplish tasks such as reducing blood loss, decreasing postoperative patient discomfort, less pain & swelling, decreasing the chances of infection to the wound, less scarring than traditional surgery and achieving better outcomes in wound healing.
In medicine, Lasers is used, in almost any surgical procedure, to allow surgeons to work at high levels of precision by focusing on a small area, damaging less of the surrounding tissue. Laser surgeries are often referred as“bloodless surgery”, the heat generated by the laser seal off blood vessels and nerves reducing bleeding, pain,swelling,keeps the surgical site free of germs and reduces the risk of infection. Laser procedures often take less time (and cost less money) and shorter length recovery period.
Lasers provide a precise and bloodless method of operating on the delicate structures of the ear. Lasers are especially useful in stapedectomies, otosclerosis and in removing inflamed tissue e.g. cholesteatoma. The safety of lasers in ear surgery over 1,000 major ear operations is confirmed by experience ear surgeons.
There are a number of different laser types. Each has a different use and color. The three types of lasers most often used in medical treatment are the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, the YAG laser (yttrium aluminum garnet), and the Pulsed dye laser.
Types of lasers :
The three types of lasers most often used in medical treatment are the:
- Carbon dioxide CO 2 laser. Primarily a surgical tool, this device converts light energy to heat, strong enough to minimize bleeding, while cutting through or vaporizes tissue.
- Neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser. Capable of penetrating tissue more deeply than other lasers, the Nd:YAG laser enables blood to clot quickly, allowing surgeons to see and can enable surgeons to see and touch body parts that could otherwise be reached only through open (invasive) surgery.
- Argon laser. This laser uses light-sensitive dyes to shrink or dissolve tumors. This laser provides the limited penetration needed for ENT surgery and superficial skin disorders.
Lasers have been applied to several types of otorhinolaryngology for a wide variety of lesions. Lesions situated in relatively inaccessible areas such as the nasopharynx, subglottic area of the larynx, and tracheobronchial tree may be excised, obliterated, or corrected in any age group. Very commonly used for:
- Complete cholesteatoma removal
- Hyperplastic infected mucosa
- Chronic ear surgery
- Stapedotomy and acoustic tumor vaporization
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- The use of CO2 laser in otolaryngology: a progress report, Strong MS, Jako GJ, Vaughan CW, Healy GB, Polanyi T Laryngol Rhinol Otol (Stuttg).1988 Jun;67(6):261-8.
- Laser surgery in ENT surgery, Rudert H1. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax.1989 Apr 18;78(16):471-3.
- CO2-laser surgery in otorhinolaryngology,Wolfensberger M.