Top 5 Ways Doctors Use Laser Surgery That You Didn't Know About

Posted on: 14 April 2015

When most people think of laser surgery, they think of eye surgery or cosmetic surgery. But did you know there are other ways doctors can use laser surgery? Laser surgery can be used to treat medical conditions of the ears and nose. Here are the top five medical conditions that can be treated with laser surgery:

1. Turbinate Hypertrophy

People with turbinate hypertrophy have a condition in which the small bones in the nose enlarge. This enlargement can cause blockages in the nose which can cause difficulty breathing, snoring, and sinus infections. Surgery is the only treatment of this condition. Laser surgery can be a great choice for those with this condition. Laser surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia.

2. Cholesteatoma

A cholesteatoma is a condition in which a sac or cyst develops in the middle ear. This cyst can form as a result of repeated ear infections, allergies, or sinus infections. This condition can cause dizziness, pain, and even hearing loss. Surgery is the best treatment for this type of condition. Laser surgery is performed in your doctor's office. Laser surgery for this condition has a huge advantage in that doctors can remove the cyst without risking hearing loss.

3. Perforated Eardrum

If you have a large hole in your eardrum that can't close on its own, your doctor may recommend a procedure called tympanoplasty. Tympanoplasty is a type of procedure in which the doctor removes scar tissue from damage or infection with a laser. Then, new tissue is placed over the hole. This tissue may come from your own muscle tissue or from a donor. This procedure takes a few hours, and is done as an inpatient procedure. This type of surgery can also be used to treat and prevent chronic ear infections.

4. Otosclerosis

Otosclerosis is a medical condition in which the bones in the middle ear grow abnormally. This causes hearing loss, dizziness, and tinnitus. The hearing loss will progressively get more severe over time. There is no permanent cure or treatment except surgery. Surgery to correct otosclerosis is called a stapedotomy. In this procedure, a hole is made in the stapes footplate. This allows the footplate to move, without the complications of a traditional stapedectomy. The surgery is performed with a laser to allow for much more accurate results.

5. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the patient stops breathing while sleeping. This can happen dozens of times in one night, which can lead to daytime fatigue, snoring, and headaches. In obstructive sleep apnea, the condition is caused by the muscles in the throat. These muscles relax while you're sleeping and block your air passages. Your doctor can remove extra tissue from your mouth and throat to prevent these muscles from blocking your airways. This procedure is called a laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty. The surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure in about thirty minutes at a clinic like Eastern Carolina Ear Nose & Throat-Head.

These are the top five medical conditions that can be treated with laser surgery.