Clinical laser/light applications in anesthesiology practice

Julie A. Gayle, Ryan Rubin, Alan David Kaye, Elizabeth A.M. Frost

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Lasers in surgery and medicin? have evolved into a specialized area with increasing use and innovative techniques requiring anesthesia providers to be familiar with the historical, technical, and procedural aspects of laser applications. Lasers applications in surgery include a variety of procedures with various laser types and specific anesthetic considerations. Currently, anesthesia providers commonly ercounter use of lasers in many procedures including airway surgery, cutaneous and cosmetic surgeries, urologic. endoscopic and ophthalmology procedures. Anesthesia for procedures involving laser use in specialized patient populations such as pediatrics and obstetrics requires the anesthesia provider to be familiar with the procedure and spec ial needs of the patient. ftevelopment of an anesthetic plan that is safe and satisfac-lory to the surgeon and patient necessitates knowledge of the procedure and patient characteristics. Laser applications for surgery are widespread and include excisions of dermato-logic lesions, treatment of laryngeal lesions, treatment of prostatic hypertrophy. Barrett's esophagus and cataracts. Use of laser in cosmetic and cutaneous procedures is generally well tolerated with monitored anesthesia care supplemented with topical or local anesthesia. Laser use in prosthetic reduction surgery is common and often patients are elderly presenting with multiple co-morbidities influencing choice of anesthetic technique. With the use of lasers in the operating becoming more common in recent years, awareness and adherence against health hazards to both the patient and personnel are essential. Laser safety includes vigilance on the part of the anesthesia provider to prevent laser induced fires, avoid eye injury and burns, as well as. prevent electrical hazards. Procedures involving lasers and the airway represent a special challenge to the anesthesia provider including risk of airway fire, aspiration, injur)', and inadequate ventilation and oxygenation. As laser technology continues to evolve in the fields of medicine and surgery benefits to the patient as it relates to anesthesia are apparent in some areas and require further study in others. Laser safety programs are required nationally in all hospitals and office based surgical facilities using lasers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLasers in Dermatology and Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationDental and Medical Applications
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319762203
ISBN (Print)9783319762180
StatePublished - 24 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway surgery and lasers airway fire
  • Anesthesia considerations for laser use laser use in endoscopy
  • Laser applications in surgery
  • Laser use in cataract surgery
  • Laser use in procedural areas
  • Laser use in the operating room
  • Protective eyewear for laser use laser safety checklist


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