Light / laser technology in the medical technology industry

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Light / laser technology in the medical technology industry

Light / laser technology

In general medicine, the laser is mainly used in diagnosis, e.g. B. when measuring blood flow (flowmetry) and circulation. There are also low-level laser therapy devices for treating wounds and pain.
In ophthalmology, laser light with different wavelengths is used, with wavelength, exposure time (exposure time) and energy influencing the physical reaction and depth of penetration. The argon laser is used to prevent coagulation (e.g. in the case of diabetic retinopathy, thrombosis) with its thermal effects, or to perform retinopexy (welding of tissue layers in the event of a retinal hole or detachment). The neodymium-YAG laser and femto-LASER cause a precisely, narrowly circumscribed tissue tear (photodisruption) due to the high-energy ultrashort suprapulse and the excimer laser, through its own phenomenon of tissue evaporation (photoablation / sublimation), a reshaping of the corneal surface (e.g. B. PRK or LASIK) to eliminate the ametropia. Femtosecond laser cataract surgery is a new method in cataract surgery that is extremely precise in some important steps during this procedure. In addition, three-dimensional imaging processes such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) or online pachymetry, optical path measurement and photo documentation of all eye structures with a resolution in the micrometer range are possible with the laser.
In surgery, vascular surgery and phlebology, the laser is mainly used in endoscopy or as a laser scalpel. Another application is the treatment of defective veins (varicose veins). The laser can be used endovenous (laser light guide is inserted into the vein). This laser treatment method replaces the removal of the vein with "stripping". In many cases, laser treatment is gentler and can be carried out on an outpatient basis. In dermatology, cuts and sclerotherapy can be carried out with laser beams. Blood vessels can be coagulated by lasers of specific wavelengths. Pigment spots can be removed or selectively destroyed with the help of ablating (= peeling) lasers. Subcutaneous (= located under the skin) pigment can be destroyed with the help of an ultra-short pulsed laser and thus removed without seriously damaging the skin surface. By using long-pulsed lasers, hair roots can be permanently destroyed by epilation. Lasers are also used for the targeted treatment of inflammatory skin diseases, primarily psoriasis (psoriasis). Superficial unevenness of the skin (nodules, wrinkles) are smoothed out (resurfacing) for the cosmetic improvement of the skin's appearance. Laser light can also be used to selectively heat the dermal parts, which is primarily intended to help build up the collagen to tighten the skin (“subsurfacing”).
In ear, nose and throat medicine, lasers are used to remove changes in the vocal cords during microlaryngoscopy, as well as to partially remove the tonsils (tonsillotomy) and tumors in the mouth and throat (e.g. in tongue carcinoma). In otosclerosis surgery, lasers are used to perforate the stapes footplate. In dentistry, lasers can be used to remove hard tooth substance ("drilling without a drill") or in periodontics (germ reduction and concretion removal in inflamed gum pockets). Diode lasers are used in dentistry for surgical interventions, e.g. B. lip frenulum removal, used for germ reduction in endodontics (root canal treatment) or for teeth whitening (bleaching). Advantages of laser treatment compared to the conventional method are that the patient experiences less pain, the setting of sutures is sometimes superfluous, there is less bleeding because the wound is sclerosed and the treated area is decontaminated (germ-free) at the same time. In some cases, however, better studies with a higher level of evidence are required to assess the benefits of the laser.
In cancer therapy it is used for photodynamic therapy; in urology for the treatment of kidney and ureter stones and the prostate. Laser microdissection is a process for obtaining the smallest samples from tissue sections or cell cultures. Techniques still under research include: attempts to grow nerves in a targeted manner using laser light.

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