2 minute read

Laser Surgery

Abnormal Results

A person who is considering any type of laser surgery should ask his doctor to provide specific and detailed information about what could go wrong during the procedure and what the negative impact on the patient's health or appearance might be.

Lighter or darker skin may appear, for example, when a laser is used to remove sun damage or age spots from an olive-skinned or dark-skinned individual. This abnormal pigmentation may or may not disappear in time.

Scarring or rupturing of the cornea is uncommon, but laser surgery on one or both eyes can:

  • increase sensitivity to light or glare
  • reduce night vision
  • permanently cloud vision, or cause sharpness of vision to decline throughout the day

Signs of infection following laser surgery include:

  • burning
  • crusting of the skin
  • itching
  • pain
  • scarring
  • severe redness
  • swelling

Resources

Books

Carlson, Karen J., et al. The Harvard Guide to Women's Health. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1996.

Keller, Gregory, et al. Lasers in Aesthetic Surgery. New York: Thieme Medical Pub., 2001)

Periodicals

Alster, Tina S. "Update on Dermatologic Laser Surgery: New Trends for 2002." Cosmetic Dermatology 15, no. 2 (2002): 33-37.

Kronberger, C. "The Veterinary Technician's Role In Laser Surgery." Veterinary Clinics of North America 32, no. 3 (2002): 723-735.

"Laser Procedures for Nearsightedness." FDA Consumer (January-February 1996): 2.

"Laser Resurfacing Slows the Hands of Time." Harvard Health Letter (August 1996): 4-5.

"Lasers—Hope or Hype?" American Health (June 1994): 68-72, 103.

"Lasers." Mayo Clinic Health Letter (July 1994): 1-3.

"Lasers for Skin Surgery." Harvard Women's Health Watch (March 1997): 2-3.

"The Light Fantastic." Helix (Winter 1989): 3-9.

"New Cancer Therapies That Ease Pain, Extend Life." Cancer Smart (June 1997): 8-10.

"New Laser Surgery for Angina." HealthNews (May 6, 1997): 3-4.

"Saving Face." Essence (August 1997): 24, 26, 28.

"What a Laser Can and Cannot Do." San Jose Mercury News (February 1994): 22, 24.


Maureen Haggerty

KEY TERMS


Argon

—A colorless, odorless gas.

Astigmatism

—Irregular curvature of the cornea causing distorted images.

Canker sore

—A blister-like sore on the inside of the mouth that can be painful but is not serious.

Carbon dioxide

—A heavy, colorless gas that dissolves in water.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

—An emergency procedure used to restore circulation and prevent brain death to a person who has collapsed, is unconscious, is not breathing, and has no pulse.

Cauterize

—To use heat or chemicals to stop bleeding, prevent the spread of infection, or destroy tissue.

Cornea

—The outer, transparent lens that covers the pupil of the eye and admits light.

Endometriosis

—An often painful gynecologic condition in which endometrial tissue migrates from the inside of the uterus to other organs inside and beyond the abdominal cavity.

Glaucoma

—A disease of the eye in which increased pressure within the eyeball can cause gradual loss of vision.

Invasive surgery

—A form of surgery that involves making an incision in the patient's body and inserting instruments or other medical devices into it.

Nearsightedness

—A condition in which one or both eyes cannot focus normally, causing objects at a distance to appear blurred and indistinct. Also called myopia.

Ovarian cyst

—A benign or malignant growth on an ovary. An ovarian cyst can disappear without treatment or become extremely painful and have to be surgically removed.

Vaporize

—To dissolve solid material or convert it into smoke or gas.

Varicose veins

—Swollen, twisted veins, usually occurring in the legs, that occur more often in women than in men.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Laser - Background And History to Linear equationLaser Surgery - Precautions, Types Of Lasers, Laser Applications, Advantages Of Laser Surgery, Disadvantages Of Laser Surgery - Description