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A laser scalpel is a scalpel for surgery, cutting or ablating living biological tissue by the energy of laser light. In soft tissue laser surgery, a laser beam ablates or vaporizes the soft tissue with high water content.
Other surgical fields where the use of a laser scalpel is common are circumcision, neurosurgery and vascular surgery. Today YAG and CO2 lasers are used, but possible benefits of using the vastly more expensive free electron lasers are being researched.
For research use in cell biology, special laser micro-scalpels can make cuts smaller than a single cell.
- D.H. Sliney, S.L. Trokel: Medical lasers and their safe use, ISBN 3-540-97856-9
- Leon Danaila, Mihail-Lucian Pascu: Lasers in Neurosurgery, ISBN 973-27-0802-6
- K. K. Jain: Handbook of Laser Neurosurgery, ISBN 0-398-04844-4