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Laser surgery is a type of surgery that uses a laser (in contrast to using a scalpel) to cut tissue. Examples include the use of a laser scalpel in otherwise conventional surgery, and soft-tissue laser surgery, in which the laser beam vaporizes soft tissue with high water content.
How does a laser work?
The functioning of a laser goes back to Albert Einstein’s theory of stimulated emission of radiation and includes other theories that help explain local tissue damage. As the light beam hits the skin, the skin may either reflect the light away, scatter the light, absorb the light, or let the light pass right through the different layers of the skin. Each layer of the skin uses the light differently.
Certain parts of the skin, called chromophones, absorb the light. When these chromophones absorb the light, physical, mechanical, chemical, or temperature changes may occur in the tissue.
There are many different types of lasers, including the carbon dioxide laser, the YAG (neodymium, or yttrium aluminum garnet) laser, and the argon laser. Each one works in a different manner and may be used for different treatment options. Laser light can be delivered either continuously or intermittently. The wavelength of the laser determines the target within the skin and the effect it may have.