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What Are the Different Types of Laser Surgery?

Any kind of eye surgery comes with a certain amount of risk for complications.
Laser eye surgery often leaves a patient with 20/20 vision.
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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
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Laser surgery is generally performed with a laser that delivers a very shallow cut, which can speed up the recovery time of the patient. Prostate, cosmetic, and vision surgery are commonly performed by lasers, among other types of surgeries. Green laser surgery is a minimally invasive treatment and reduction of enlarged prostates, while laser cosmetic surgery is often used to reduce the appearance of scars and tattoos. Lastly, vision surgery can drastically improve a person’s vision by remodeling the cornea and can sometimes lead to vision that is considered perfect or better than perfect. In many cases, laser surgery is performed while the patient is awake, though a local anesthetic is sometimes applied.

Eye surgery performed by laser is typically called LASIK and often leaves the patient with 20/20 vision, which is generally considered perfect. Occasionally, the patient may end up with better vision than 20/20, such as 20/15 or 20/10. Laser eye surgery is normally an outpatient procedure performed while the patient is awake. Like with all surgeries, this type of laser surgery has risks, and the patient may end up seeing glares or halos in his or her vision. Good candidates for LASIK are generally more than 21 years old, not pregnant, and do not have serious health problems.

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Laser surgery is sometimes performed on the prostate in order to alleviate urination issues. An enlarged prostate is common among older men because the prostate begins growing again around the age of 25, eventually resulting in urination problems many years later. The goal of this type of surgery, normally called green laser surgery, is to remove tissue that is obstructing proper urination in a minimally invasive way. Laser prostate surgery is also sometimes performed to reduce the size of enlarged prostates by destroying tissue. This surgery can sometimes be performed as an outpatient procedure, but occasionally requires a one-day stay in the hospital due to complications.

Cosmetic surgery by laser is usually non-invasive and performed as an outpatient procedure at a dermatologist’s. Laser cosmetic surgery is often used to reduce the appearance of tattoos and scars. It usually takes multiple sessions to remove a tattoo, but small scars can be significantly quicker to reduce. Removing all trace of the scar or tattoo to the layperson is often possible. Like LASIK surgery, this kind of cosmetic surgery is generally performed with a local anesthetic, and the patient can immediately go about daily life as normal.

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