Measuring laser energy in dermatologic applications
Monday, July 08, 2019
Who is responsible in cases of serious damage on patients’ skin due to unexpected laser energy during a laser surgery?
Of course, the answer varies depending on the case, but one thing is certain that medical laser manufacturers have tremendous responsibility when designing their laser systems. They should be aware of the exact amount of energy coming from the laser source with absolute certainty to minimize the risk of laser accidents.
Before and after photos of people after having received laser treatment for various aesthetic applications has become popular, especially since medical lasers do a really good job.
The clinical applications of lasers for skin treatment include different dermatologic applications such as pigmented and vascular lesion treatment, hair and tattoo removal, lipolysis, scar and melanoma treatment, etc.
Medical lasers for such applications vary, and the type of the laser and its parameters are determined according to the surgical procedure. There are many crucial parameters with regards to lasers that affect the results of the dermatologic process; however, the safety of the person being treated for a dermatologic problem comes first.
There is always a risk of unwanted laser energy due to system failure during medical laser operations. Any laser system failure can cause unwanted serious hazards on the targeted parts of the skin. Thus, the necessary precautions should be taken by medical laser system manufacturers to ensure a high level of safety.
Fortunately, the regulations in many countries and accreditation standards of many institutions require an internal or external integrating energy or power measurement unit capable of measuring the laser source into the system.
Therefore, if you are a medical laser integrator or manufacturer, choosing the proper power detector and monitoring the laser energy of your system is very important.
The wavelength and energy of lasers is chosen according to the type of dermatologic application. The wavelength determines the penetration depth of the beam on the skin, and it can vary from a few hundred nanometers to 10.6 microns. The required laser energy can also change from nanojoules to a few hundred joule levels.
Further, the repetition frequency can be of a single shot or MHz-level. Thus, providing high accuracy and ensuring high repeatability of measurement in your medical laser system for your customers is only possible by taking all variables into account and using a proper laser energy sensor.
Most laser energy sensors cover a broad spectral range and allow you to even measure the energy of a single pulse. On the other hand, for intense pulsed light (IPL) lasers, which are commonly used in a variety of dermatologic applications, hundreds of joule-level pulse energies may be required.
Further, measuring such energy levels is rather challenging. However, today, the direct measurement of IPL systems up to hundreds of joules is also possible by using state-of-the-art-technology power detectors with high accuracy and repeatability.
Investing in a highly accurate and robust laser energy sensor for your medical laser unit can never be considered as too expensive as it is priceless! Do not risk your medical laser system and business by choosing a highly accurate and robust laser energy sensor from the tens of options as per your needs.