Summary and Future
Decades of effort understanding, inventing, designing, developing and using photothermal treatments for human disease have clearly improved medical care. Lasers are the treatment of choice for common eye, skin, upper airway, gynecological and venous disorders. The microscopic precision of laser tissue ablation and selective photothermolysis are unprecedented in medicine. Optical diagnostics have also made significant impact. Is the pace of progress in this field likely to continue? Ophthalmology and dermatology are the only two medical specialties that depend heavily on optical treatments by photothermal and photochemical mechanisms, and ophthalmology also depends heavily on optical diagnostics. Many eye and skin problems fit for optical solutions remain unsolved.