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Laser Surgery

A surgical procedure that uses the cutting power of a laser beam to make bloodless cuts in tissue or to remove a surface lesion such as a tumor.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Laser therapy for retinopathy in sickle cell disease

To evaluate the effectiveness of various techniques of laser photocoagulation in sickle cell disease‐related proliferative retinopathy (development of sight‐threatening complications due to excessive growth of blood vessels in the back of the eye).

Not enough evidence to support using low level laser therapy alongside drug treatments for tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious bacterial infection that can affect different parts of the body; most frequently it affects the lungs (pulmonary TB). Some bacteria can be drug resistant, and some people may have the infection alongside another medical condition. People suffer from severe cough, weakness and sweats, and some people still die from TB even though effective drug treatment has been around for many years. It is has been proposed that low level laser therapy may help the drugs to be more effective. There are a number of different devices for giving the laser treatment, some giving the treatment externally (to the body or acupuncture sites), some using for internal treatment (for blood or lungs) at varying doses. The review of trials found only one randomized trial where the data were poorly reported, and it did not clarify the potential benefits and harms. Low level laser therapy should only be used in randomized controlled trials until its value is evaluated.

Low level laser therapy for low‐back pain

Sixty to eighty per cent of people suffer from back pain at some time in their lives. Of those who develop acute low‐back pain (LBP), up to 30% will go on to develop chronic LBP. The toll on individuals, families and society makes the successful management of this common, but benign condition an important goal.

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Summaries for consumers

Laser therapy for retinopathy in sickle cell disease

To evaluate the effectiveness of various techniques of laser photocoagulation in sickle cell disease‐related proliferative retinopathy (development of sight‐threatening complications due to excessive growth of blood vessels in the back of the eye).

Not enough evidence to support using low level laser therapy alongside drug treatments for tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious bacterial infection that can affect different parts of the body; most frequently it affects the lungs (pulmonary TB). Some bacteria can be drug resistant, and some people may have the infection alongside another medical condition. People suffer from severe cough, weakness and sweats, and some people still die from TB even though effective drug treatment has been around for many years. It is has been proposed that low level laser therapy may help the drugs to be more effective. There are a number of different devices for giving the laser treatment, some giving the treatment externally (to the body or acupuncture sites), some using for internal treatment (for blood or lungs) at varying doses. The review of trials found only one randomized trial where the data were poorly reported, and it did not clarify the potential benefits and harms. Low level laser therapy should only be used in randomized controlled trials until its value is evaluated.

Low level laser therapy for low‐back pain

Sixty to eighty per cent of people suffer from back pain at some time in their lives. Of those who develop acute low‐back pain (LBP), up to 30% will go on to develop chronic LBP. The toll on individuals, families and society makes the successful management of this common, but benign condition an important goal.

See all (202)

More about Laser Surgery

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Other terms to know:
Laser, Laser Resurfacing, Laser Therapy

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