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Information for Patients and Professionals

Medical lasers are medical devices that use precisely focused light sources to treat or remove tissues.

The term “laser” stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Ordinary light, such as that from a light bulb, has many wavelengths and spreads in all directions. Laser light, on the other hand, has a specific wavelength. It is focused in a narrow beam and creates a very high-intensity light. Because lasers can focus very accurately on tiny areas, they can be used for very precise surgical work or for cutting through tissue (in place of a scalpel).

Lasers are used in many types of surgical procedures. Some examples include:


  • Cosmetic surgery (to remove tattoos, scars, stretch marks, sunspots, wrinkles, birthmarks, spider veins or hair)

  • Refractive eye surgery (to reshape the cornea in order to correct or improve vision as in LASIK or PRK)

  • Dental procedures (such as endodontic/periodontic procedures, tooth whitening, and oral surgery)

  • General surgery (such as tumor removal, cataract removal, breast surgery, plastic surgery, and most other surgical procedures)