Surgical Lasers: Myths and Facts

Medical lasers have played a role in revolutionizing healthcare. These powerful and versatile devices have ushered in a new era with minimal access surgeries, including those that use robotic assistance. Medical technology has opened up new clinical possibilities by reducing the need for open surgeries (which can be associated with higher bleeding and longer recovery times).

The use of proven surgical laser technology is widespread. However, some misconceptions persist. This article examines myths and facts about surgical lasers, highlighting their diverse applications and benefits while addressing key questions.

Facts about surgical lasers

Here are some facts about how surgical-grade lasers have impacted the medical field:

Fact: surgical lasers have proven technology with widespread usage

Surgical lasers are used across various specialties and departments, which is a testament to their versatility. From ENT and urology to gynecology to cancer treatments and beyond, these lasers offer precision and flexibility, enabling surgical teams to treat an array of medical conditions.

Fact: medical lasers have tunable wavelengths

One of the critical attributes of surgical lasers is their ability to emit light at specific wavelengths. This characteristic ensures that the laser energy is selectively absorbed by the targeted tissue, minimizing collateral damage to surrounding structures.

Different surgical lasers are tailored for specific procedures and treatments based on their wavelength properties.

Fact: surgical lasers offer precise operation and they are minimally invasive

One of the most attractive aspects of surgical lasers is their precision. By enabling surgical teams to focus on a specific target, lasers allow them to perform intricate procedures with reproducible results.

The level of accuracy enabled by surgical laser systems is ideal for minimal access procedures, as collateral damage can be reduced, potentially shortening the post-operative recovery process.

Fact: surgical lasers can control hemostasis

Surgical lasers play a pivotal role in achieving hemostasis, the control of bleeding during surgery. A laser’s ability to coagulate blood vessels as it cuts through tissues enhances the surgeon’s control over bleeding, contributing to safer and more effective procedures. This feature is particularly valuable in surgeries where minimizing blood loss is critical.

Fact: medical lasers can reduce scarring

The use of surgical lasers in minimal access procedures allows for smaller incisions. Minimized surgical openings allow for potentially less tissue damage and, therefore, reduced scarring, a desirable outcome for most patients.

Fact: medical lasers have advanced cancer treatment

Laser technology has been instrumental in evolving cancer treatment. Photodynamic therapy, a technique involving photosensitizing agents activated by laser light, has shown promise in treating various types of cancer, including skin and lung cancer.

This leap forward represents progress in the quest for more effective and targeted cancer therapies.

Fact: laser precision benefits ophthalmic surgery

In ophthalmic surgery, where accuracy is paramount, surgical lasers are employed for procedures such as retinal surgery and cataract removal. The ability to precisely target and treat delicate structures in the eye makes surgical lasers an indispensable tool for helping surgical teams enhance patients’ vision.

Fact: surgical lasers have fiber optic delivery systems

Many surgical lasers utilize advanced delivery systems, such as fiber optic handpieces, to reach difficult-to-access areas of the body. This flexibility expands the number of surgical procedures that can benefit from laser technology, making it a valuable tool for skilled medical professionals.

Myths related to surgical lasers

Despite its proven track record for safe and efficient medical treatments, some myths persist about surgical lasers, including the following:

Myth: surgical lasers are intended for only one type of tissue

While surgical lasers offer exceptional precision, it is important to recognize that the specific properties of the targeted tissue influence the effectiveness of lasers. Lasers with multiple wavelengths can operate on various types of tissues, increasing their versatility. Tissues with higher water content, such as skin and mucous membranes, are cut more effectively by specific lasers.

It’s a case of using the right tool for the job, which, in many cases, is surgical lasers.

Myth: surgical lasers cause more damage

Surgical lasers have a well-documented history of contributing to faster recovery times. Factors such as the type of surgery, the patient’s overall health, and the specific laser technology employed all play a role. Additionally, advanced lasers, when used at optimal parameters, are able to accurately deliver precise amounts of energy at the specific target tissues preserving the surrounding tissues and minimizing charring.

Each person’s recovery will be different, although in many cases, a minimal-access, laser-assisted procedure increases the potential for a shorter recovery time.

Myth: surgical lasers pose a potential radiation risk

A prevalent myth suggests that surgical lasers pose substantial radiation risks. In reality, surgical lasers do not emit ionizing radiation. When appropriate safety measures are implemented, the controlled release of light energy for surgical purposes poses minimal radiation risk.

Patients can be confident they will receive safe and efficient treatment with laser technology.

IML: a US importer and distributor of premium surgical lasers

Surgical lasers are a remarkable advancement in medical technology. Their precision, diverse uses across specialties and departments, and ability to help surgical teams conduct minimal access procedures have transformed modern surgery.

By investigating the myths versus facts relating to surgical lasers, we gain a deeper appreciation for their role in improving patient outcomes. As technology continues to evolve, surgical lasers hold promise for further breakthroughs in healthcare.

Organizations such as IML play a crucial role in innovation in the healthcare space. IML sources state-of-the-art medical devices from around the globe, collaborating with top-tier international manufacturers to provide innovative yet practical medical technology solutions for hospitals, surgical centers, and other institutions.

With a robust network of dealers, IML supports medical teams in addressing patient care across the U.S. This facilitates access to cutting-edge tools that enhance the capabilities of healthcare professionals and contribute to the advancement of medical science.

Your next step

Are you an established U.S.-based medical device sales rep interested in growing your business? Visit the dealer page on our website or contact a leader on our team to learn more about partnering with IML.