Saturday, November 6, 2010

Laser Tecnology in Medicine

More and more lasers are used to improve the medical practise and to give more possibilities of cure for young and old people. 

The continous evolution of this technology is reaching great satisfactions and very good results, in particular, if we remember the past experiments. I found an interesting video from BBC1 archive that shows a primordial laser eye surgery "Laser eye surgery in 1965 (Video BBC1)".

Currently, surgeons are able to practise laser surgery reducing risk and many of them are looking at lasers as the future of medicine. An article of Philippa Roxby, Health reporter of BBC News, talks about "">How lasers will light up the future of medicine" and a recent article of Katia Moskvitch, Science reporter of BBC News, explains as "">Painless laser device could spot early signs of disease".

The use of this powerful instrument is continuously developed by surgeons: more than 100,000 laser eye surgery procedures are performed every year.

Lasers can also be used  for prevention. Prof Harry Moseley, University of Dundee, says "We are shining laser light at areas of the body to see what reaction we get. Lasers can tell us if there's a cancer there because of subtle changes in what's reflected back. By analysing what's reflected back we can offer improved diagnosis."
Other uses of laser in medicine are bloodless and soft tissue surgery (using CO2 or Er:YAG laser), laser healing, surgical treatment, kidney stone treatment, eye treatment and refractive surgery, dentistry for caries removal, endodontic/periodontic procedures, tooth whitening, cosmetic surgery (to remove tattoos, scars, stretch marks, sunspots, wrinkles, birthmarks and hairs), laser scalpel (general surgery, gynecological, urology, laparoscopic), photobiomodulation (i.e. laser therapy) and "No-Touch" removal of tumors, especially of the brain and spinal cord.

There are many types of laser; among these we remember the ruby (694 nm), the alexandrite (755 nm), pulsed diode array (810 nm), the Nd:YAG (1064 nm),  the Ho:YAG (2090 nm) and the Er:YAG (2940 nm), all used in dermatology.

Therefore, we can say that laser technology improvement is a good challenge that every day changes and develops.

Ophtalmic femtosecond laser from Carl Zeiss Meditec.
Photo by Philos2000  Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported