Laser surgery uses laser light to remove diseased tissues or treat bleeding blood vessels. Laser surgery may also be used to remove wrinkles, sunspots, tattoos, or birthmarks.
A laser is a light beam that can be focused on a very small area. The laser heats cells in the area being treated until they "burst."
There are several types of lasers. 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.
Laser surgery can be used to:
Possible risks of laser surgery include:
Some laser surgery is done when you are asleep and pain free (general anesthesia). Talk to your health care provider about risks of laser surgery.
The success of laser surgery depends on the condition being treated. Talk to your health care provider about what you can expect.
You may need to keep your skin moisturized and out of the sun after treatment.
Recovery time depends on the surgery and your overall health. Ask your health care provider before surgery how much recovery time you will need.
Surgery using a laser
James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM. Cutaneous laser surgery. In: James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 38.
Tung R, Vidimos A. Nonmelanoma skin cancer. In: Carey WD. Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010.
Updated by: Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, dermatologist in private practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2015, A.D.A.M., Inc. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized in writing by ADAM Health Solutions.