The world’s first laser came into the world on May 16, 1960, a little over 50 years ago. Invented by Theodore Maiman, a PhD experimental physicist, it changed the world as we know it. Because of it, millions of blind people are now able to see and machine tools are able to precisely drill holes ranging from a few microns to several millimeters in diameter in the hardest of metals.
When the laser was first invented over 50 years ago, hardly anyone envisioned its use in eye surgery. Today, however, the laser has become an indispensable tool for many eye surgeons and has largely replaced the traditional scalpel in many procedures. High Power Laser Pointer are widely used, for example, to counteract the effects of diabetes, to reshape the cornea of the eye to improve sight and to remove cataracts that can impair vision.
Many surgical procedures are difficult to perform using a traditional scalpel because they are located in hard to reach places, often requiring incisions in healthy tissue to access the area requiring surgery. Lasers, however, have made such surgery both easier and safer because a finely focused beam from a carbon dioxide gas laser can cut through human tissue easily and neatly. The surgeon can then direct the laser beam from any angle by using a mirror mounted on a movable metal arm.
Anyone of a certain age remembers dreading a trip to the dentist, which usually involved pain. Whether it was the needle used to inject the Novocain or the drill used to prepare a cavity for filling, it hurt! Fortunately, lasers have improved the practice of dentistry or periodontal surgery, making it possible to eliminate much of the pain that causes some people, even today, to avoid regular checkups.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cancer was the second leading cause of death among females in the United States in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available. It accounted for some 22.2 percent of women’s deaths due to disease during 2009, behind only heart disease at 24.0 percent.