Biophotonics - the physicians perspective

Lasers are used today more and more in therapy and diagnostics. In diagnostics they are used additional to other procedures like metabolic monitoring resp. for optical imaging. Main topic of medical applications therapy, in which Laser is sometime a surgical instrument sometime a central, alone standing therapeutic procedure.But it is forgotten that Laser is light, a special light, but the biological reactions are in general not different from normal light. This is important to prevent disappointments on the other to use the experience of photobiology and light therapy. In medicine Laser is used since his invention 40 years ago mostly destructive but nature uses light since billion of years mainly constructive! So Lasers are used not only for cutting and removal on surfaces the application is more complex. This is caused by a continuous technical development of Laser-systems and accessories, like endoscopes, but more important is the better knowledge about Laser-tissue-interaction. The field of application is broad, there are daily new indications but other are replaced by the development of other techniques like Radiofrequency. The indications are from plastic surgery over the congenital and vascular diseases to open surgical organ and tumor resections. Very important is Laser in endoscopic surgery and in interstitial Laser coagulation. But in contrast to thermal procedures the indication for Photo dynamic Therapy are dysplasias and virus-induced tumors. The experiences by the Photodynamic Therapy and the better understanding of biochemical metabolic processes open the field of indications for this therapeutic principle also for benign chronical diseases.