Background and Objective: Diode-pumped fiber lasers are a compact and an efficient source of high power laser radiation. These laser systems have found wide recognition in the area of lasers as a result of these very practical characteristics and are now becoming important tools for a large number of applications. In this review, we outline the basic physics of fiber lasers and illustrate how a number of clinical procedures would benefit from their employment. Study Design/Materials and Methods: The pump mechanisms, the relevant pump and laser transitions between the energy levels, and the main properties of the output from fiber lasers will be briefly reviewed. The main types of high power fiber lasers that have been demonstrated will be examined along with some recent medical applications that have used these lasers. We will also provide a general review of some important medical specialties, highlighting why these fields would gain from the introduction of the fiber laser. Results/Conclusion: It is established that while the fiber laser is still a new form of laser device and hence not commercially available in a wide sense, a number of important medical procedures will benefit from its general introduction into medicine. With the number of medical and surgical applications requiring high power laser radiation steadily increasing, the demand for more efficient and compact laser systems providing this capacity will grow commensurately. The high power fiber laser is one system that looks like a promising modality to meet this need.
- Medical lasers