2 Your Health: May the force be with you: medical lasers

Tracy Cook

If you are a resident of Robson Ranch, I know that you often shake your head in amazement that your children and grandchildren usually know much more than you do about computers, smart phones, iPads and other technologies that did not even exist when we were their age. They will also be able to tell you that the weapon of choice for Star Wars hero Luke Skywalker is his light sabre, which uses laser technology. Toy light sabers were as common for them as toy cowboy six-shooters once were for many of us. When Star Wars was first filmed, lasers were in their infancy and more often the stuff of science fiction. Today, lasers are as common as computers and have thousands of applications. It should not surprise you that this technology now has many proven, acceptable uses by health providers.

The term laser stands for Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation. What it means is that light energy can be focused and directed in extremely narrow and potentially powerful beams, beams that can cut through steel, measure the distance to the moon, accurate to inches, blind an aircraft pilot, project Christmas displays on your house or remove that tattoo that was mistakenly obtained.

The use of lasers for medical purposes is constantly expanding to new areas. Common users now include eye doctors, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, dentists, and medical spas. The last term does not refer to the commonly used term spa, which might be a place to have manicures, health baths or other more cosmetic techniques. Medical spas are owned by doctors and nurse practitioners and perform medically supervised aesthetics that include a variety of laser applications as well as other services such as Botox and PRP. Medical spas are a growing phenomenon and several have recently opened in the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex.

Examples of common medically supervised aesthetics using lasers include the following: laser hair removal, skin tightening to reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce acne/scars appearance, vaginal rejuvenation, lipolysis or fat reduction on various body areas, eliminate brown/red spot (aging spots), reduce or eliminate spider veins.

There are many more uses for lasers in today’s world. Medical technology is allowing us to live longer, healthier lives and look better while doing it!

Tracy Cook is an Adult Nurse Practitioner who owns and operates a private medical practice: Adult Health Services, is a resident of Robson Ranch and a Living Well committee member. For any questions or more information please visit her website www.adulthealthservices.com.