How to Choose the Best Medical Laser Parameters
Lasers have become an important part of modern medicine, with a wide range of applications in both surgical and non-surgical procedures. To get the best results from a laser treatment, it is important to understand the different parameters that can be adjusted. This blog post will discuss the most important medical laser parameters and what they mean for your treatment.
Wavelength is one of the most important laser parameters to consider when undergoing laser treatment. Different laser wavelengths are used for different purposes and can be set to target specific chromophores within the skin, such as melanin or oxyhemoglobin. The selective targeting of chromophores results in selective heating through photothermolysis.
- Lasers with a wavelength shorter than 1200 nm target oxyhemoglobin and Melanin
- Laser with a wavelength longer than 1200 nm target water
The Pulse duration or Pulse Width
The laser pulse duration is a very important parameter that should not be overlooked. This indicates how long each laser pulse will last and plays a big role in determining the effectiveness of the treatment. Shorter pulse durations often create more heat but can cause less damage to surrounding tissue, while longer pulses may have a deeper effect on the targeted area. The proper pulse width has to be chosen according to the size of the target lesion and its thermal relaxation time.
Lasers are classified into five pulse width categories
- Ultra long: these lasers are mainly used for laser lipolysis and body shaping
- Long: these lasers are mainly used for laser hair removal and basic skin rejuvenation
- Quasi-long: These lasers are mainly used for hyperpigmentation and superficial skin lesions
- Short: these lasers are mainly used for epidermal and dermal pigmentation and tattoo removal
- Ultra-short: These lasers can be used for skin rejuvenation, pigmentation and tattoo removal.
Fluence is the laser energy delivered over a measured area and is usually expressed in joules per square centimetre (J/cm2). If too much fluence is used, it can cause more damage to surrounding tissue. If too little fluence is used, the laser may not penetrate deep enough into the skin to be effective. It is important to use the correct fluence for the desired effect.
The laser spot size indicates how much the laser beam will be projected onto an area at once, usually measured in millimetres. The smaller the laser spot size, the less laser energy is put out and, therefore, less risk of collateral damage. On the other hand, larger laser spots might allow for quicker treatments.