The Different Types of Medical Laser Systems
Laser systems have proven useful in several different types of medicine, including diagnostics, therapies, and laser surgeries. Some of the most common uses of medical lasers include cancer treatments, medical imaging, dentistry, and laser cosmetic surgeries such as scar revision or tattoo removal. Medical device manufacturers like Gener8 also use medical lasers in development. Laser welding is an efficient way to achieve precise, high-strength welds.
Scientists and medical professionals use various kinds of lasers to accomplish all of these things and more. Learn more about the different types of medical laser systems with this rundown.
Solid-state laser systems distribute their lasing material in a solid matrix. Two main components make up the laser: optics (such as lasing crystals and mirrors) and electronics (such as internal controls and a power supply) which exist within a single box. A solid-state laser system operates by injecting light into a cavity that contains spherical mirrors and a crystal medium at each end. These mirrors focus the light into a bright, high-intensity beam. Medical professionals often use solid-state lasers in soft tissue procedures such as eye or dental surgeries.
Gas lasers contain a small chamber that holds a mixture of gases. An external source creates voltage to the chamber and excites the gas particles within. This produces the laser’s light. Most of the time, gas laser systems use CO2, helium-neon, or argon to create a laser. The type of gas within the chamber influences the wavelength, efficiency, and power of the laser. Gas laser systems create high-quality beams with long coherence lengths. Gas lasers are popular in educational settings, but they can also be used in procedures such as facelifts and skin resurfacing.
Last in this list of different types of medical laser systems is the diode laser system. This semiconductor device operates when a current passes through the device and emits coherent radiation within the infrared spectrum. Diode lasers can be both low and high power, making them useful for myriad applications within the medical field. Low-power diode lasers aid in soft tissue procedures such as eye surgery. High-power lasers can aid in dentistry or cosmetic procedures. Medical professionals also use diode lasers to cut tissue, minimize bleeding during surgery, and remove cancer cells.