What is laser surgery?

There are many different types of lasers (which stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) and many different types of cosmetic and medical uses for them. A laser can be tuned to different wavelengths to create a powerful, concentrated beam that can be used to burn, vaporize, cut, shape and clot tissue.

Laser surgery is sometimes used to remove diseased tissue within the body, such as laser ablation of a tumor, or it may be used to cauterize or seal nerve endings during or after a surgery. Laser surgery is commonly used by dermatologists to remove skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, and to remove all manner of skin abnormalities, including tumors, warts, lesions, moles, scars, birthmarks (such as port wine stains), even tattoos. Laser cosmetic surgery helps diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the skin (laser resurfacing) and helps remove dilated blood vessels from the face.

Risks of laser surgery

There are certain risks associated with laser surgery, including bleeding and infection as well as scarring and discoloration of skin. You may also have some redness and swelling after laser surgery and it may take a few weeks for the results to become visible. Your doctor will provide you with any special ointments or creams you'll need to use after surgery. You may also benefit from using ice packs to address swelling and use over-the-counter pain medication for any discomfort. Your skin may also be particularly vulnerable to sun exposure after laser surgery so you may need to avoid sun at first. Certain types of laser surgery procedures may require more than one treatment and time in between each one for healing. Your doctor will discuss your particular laser surgery treatment and what to expect before, during and after the procedure.


Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Many people think of plastic surgery as purely cosmetic, but there’s a lot more to this surgical specialty. Plastic surgeons often do reconstructive procedures that can rebuild body parts after an injury or illness.