Health Library
Laser Surgery

What is Laser Surgery?

Laser surgery is a type of surgery that uses special light beams instead of instruments for surgical procedures. Lasers were first developed in 1960. Since that time, lasers have improved and many new types of laser have been developed, including those that can clot, cut or get rid of tissue.

Types of Lasers

The most commonly used lasers for pediatric patients are:

  • Pulsed dye laser
  • CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser
  • KTP laser

Each works in a different way and may be used as part of a treatment plan.

Laser Procedure

When the laser beam hits tissue such as skin, some light is reflected. The remaining light is absorbed or transmitted through the tissue. The absorbed light has specific effects, creating a change that results in the desired treatment effects.

Advantages of Laser Surgery

There are some procedures and conditions in which lasers offer advantages and better clinical outcomes. This is especially true for endoscopic procedures in which surgeons have limited access to confined areas within the body. Lasers permit highly localized precise surgery with reduced blood loss.

Conditions Commonly Treated with Laser Surgery

Laser surgery is often used to treat pediatric patients with certain types of vascular lesions. It is also widely used for the treatment of many upper and middle airway disorders involving the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea).

Last Updated 11/2022

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For more information, contact the Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery Division.

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