What Are the Different Types of Medical Lasers

Research shows that in 2013 alone, more than 22 million cosmetic procedures were performed globally. Aesthetic medicine seeks to use minimally invasive treatments to improve the physical appearance of patients. The growth of the medical industry is attributed to the introduction of laser-based treatments in the 1990s. Aesthetic medicine is a component of regular health management in developed countries, though the marketing techniques used by clinics and vendors like Sentient Lasers or play a vital role in attracting patients towards these treatments.

Here are some types of medical lasers that you need to know:

  1. Solid State

Solid state laser, distributes lasing material in a solid matrix having solid state gain media like crystals doped or glass containing rare earth, semiconductor, or transition metal ions. Dope insulator lasers are designed in the form of a wave guide laser, fiber laser, or bulk laser and generate energy that ranges from a few milliwatts to several kilowatts.

Solid state lasers have two components, namely the optics and the electronics. The optics has mirrors and lasing crystal, while the electronics have a power supply and internal controls. These components are fixed into one box. Solid state lasers function when light is transferred into a crystal medium with tightly bonded atoms through a lamp or laser. This process ensures that the crystal medium gives light that bounces on the mirrors which gives a bright light with a high intensity.

  1. Diode Laser

A diode laser has a semiconducting device that produces coherent radiation in the visible or infrared spectrum when a current is passed through it. These lasers are used in optical fiber systems, medical diagnosis, treatments, and therapies. They emit wavelengths ranging from 375 – 1800 nm. Doctors use low power diode lasers to treat soft tissues while they utilize high power diode lasers in medical aesthetics and dentistry.

Diode lasers can also be used to conduct delicate surgical eye treatments. Compared to solid state lasers, diode lasers are the best because they’re cheap, small, and have low energy requirements. Also, they deliver low optical power and solid state lasers.

  1. Gas Lasers

These lasers use plasma or gas as their gain medium. They work when an emission is stimulated by pumping the gas through a chemical reaction or electrical discharge. When operating, gas lasers are often in the state of plasma and have a great electrically charged particle concentration.

Most of these laser systems use either CO2, helium-neon, or argon gases. The gas used in the system will determine the laser’s power, efficiency, and wavelength. Gas lasers are common in applications that need laser beams with single mode operation, high beam quality, and long coherence lengths.

Helium-neon lasers are multifunctional and are best for low power laser applications like laboratory and education settings. On the other hand, argon lasers are suitable for near-ultraviolet or visible applications. CO2 lasers are used in various applications like molecular spectroscopy, gas sensing, testing night vision, and environmental monitoring. Most of these gas lasers give a high beam quality that almost resembles a diffraction limited light.

The Bottom Line

These are but a few types of lasers used in the medical industry, though as technology continues to advance, more lasers will be invented in the future.

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