Four specific interactions can occur when laser energy is delivered to the tissues;
Most surgical lasers produce thermal effect at the tissue level. This includes the ability of the laser to cut, coagulate, vaporize, and ablate tissues. Some lasers mechanically disrupt tissues by producing sonic (acoustic) energy, like the breaking apart of kidney stones in the ureter. Activating light-sensitive medications to disrupt and change tissue is an example of the chemical effect a laser beam can produce.
The depth of penetration of the laser beam depends on the wavelength, color and consistency of the tissue, power intensity, exposure duration, and spot size.