Laser therapy is any treatment using intense beams of light to precisely cut, burn, or destroy tissue. The term laser is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation."
The laser light beam is generated from radiation sources so small and safe that it poses no health risks to the patient or medical team.
The laser is used for many medical purposes. Because the laser beam is so small and precise, it enables doctors to safely treat tissue without injuring the surrounding area. Lasers may be used to remove growths or cauterize blood vessels. They may also be used during eye surgery.
See also: Laser surgery
Ossoff RH, Garrett CG, Reinisch L. Laser surgery: Basic principles and safety considerations. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2005:chap 7.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.