Old 12-18-2011, 10:57 PM #1
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Default Why do they use red lasers as aiming beams for surgical lasers?

Why do they use red lasers as aiming beams for surgical lasers, instead of green, which the eye is more sensitive to?

All surgical lasers have a treatment beam (either IR or some visible wavelength), and an aiming beam, which is <5mw red. This aiming beam is used like a "laser sight" to align the area to be treated before firing the treatment beam.

What I want to know is why 5mw red? If the point of a aiming beam is to be able to see what you want to hit, why not use a more visible wavelength, like 532nm @ 5mw?

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Old 12-18-2011, 11:06 PM #2
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Default Re: Why do they use red lasers as aiming beams for surgical lasers?

I suspect it is probably because red was the cheapest back in the day and they just got used to using it. There isn't a strong need to switch, since red is visible enough to see in a well lit room.

Green lasers use more power, not that that is likely a concern. I think it is due to lazyness combined with a lack of a real need to switch.

There may be something about permits and certifications in there too. Hospital equipment uses a lot of red tape.

Get it? Red tape? Ohh man, I'm so punny, I crack myself up.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:18 PM #3
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Default Re: Why do they use red lasers as aiming beams for surgical lasers?

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Old 12-18-2011, 11:56 PM #4
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Default Re: Why do they use red lasers as aiming beams for surgical lasers?

It just needs to be a laser whose wavelength will pass through the goggles associated with a another wavelength.

Can't use a green aiming laser for a 120W 532nm doubled Nd:YAG surgical laser.

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Old 12-18-2011, 11:56 PM #5
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Default Re: Why do they use red lasers as aiming beams for surgical lasers?

It just needs to be a laser whose wavelength will pass through the goggles associated with a another wavelength.

Can't use a green aiming laser for a 120W 532nm doubled Nd:YAG surgical laser.

Trevor
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:18 AM #6
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Default Re: Why do they use red lasers as aiming beams for surgical lasers?

It has its roots in the days before diode lasers. HeNe was the aiming beam. Even with modern equipment, diode lasers are more reliable than DPSS.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:21 AM #7
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Default Re: Why do they use red lasers as aiming beams for surgical lasers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
It just needs to be a laser whose wavelength will pass through the goggles associated with a another wavelength.

Can't use a green aiming laser for a 120W 532nm doubled Nd:YAG surgical laser.

Trevor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
It just needs to be a laser whose wavelength will pass through the goggles associated with a another wavelength.

Can't use a green aiming laser for a 120W 532nm doubled Nd:YAG surgical laser.

Trevor

Repeated for emphasis...
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