ABLS Regular / Cosmetics Trial Exam


This is the ABLS Trial Exam on Laser Biophysics, Tissue Interaction and Safety. There are also a few questions on Cosmetic Laser Procedures, for a total of 12 knowledge questions. This short exam will explore your knowledge with some critical questions the Board feels laser practitioners should know to maximize patient efficacy and safety. Your Trial Exam score will show at the end.

Question 1 captures your contact information - name, location and email, but not street address or phone number.

Questions 2-7: on fundamental laser science and tissue interaction; questions 8-9: on key aspects of laser safety; and 10-13 on cosmetic laser procedures. If you practice in a non-cosmetic discipline, please skip 10-13. Question 14 asks how you think you did and for any comments.

If you are not sure of an answer, please make your best guess. You may back up to check or change any answers. However when you click the "DONE" button at the end, you cannot change your answers.

Following "DONE" your score will show.  80% or higher indicates a very good understanding.  There are 55 possible points for all 12 knowledge questions.  The first 8 questions (non-cosmetic) equal 46 possible points.

Questions with ONLY ONE right answer have circular DOTS. If you change your answer, the dot selected will change accordingly. Questions which may have MORE THAN ONE right answer will allow you to make more than one selection using the square BOXES. If you change your answer, you must click on a box to un-check it, and then click on a new box to check it.

Your information and answers will be kept confidential.

If you score below 70%, the Board suggests consideration of the certification process. Up to 28 CME units are now available. More information is available on our website.

The Board wishes you success!

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* 1. Please provide the following information:

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* 2. Laser light has three unique properties. Select each choice that denotes one of these properties.

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* 3. To determine the length of each laser pulse and prevent the temperature of adjacent tissue from exceeding a level at which irreversible damage occurs, it is important to understand and calculate the thermal relaxation time (TRT) of the tissue that is being irradiated. The value of this time is dependent on (check any that are correct):

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* 4. A Gaussian laser beam has maximum power density at the axis, and its intensity falls asymptotically toward zero with increasing radial distance from the axis, theoretically requiring an infinite distance to reach zero. Hence there is no concentric circle of finite diameter which encompasses all the radiant power of such a beam. It is, therefore, convenient to define an effective diameter: the diameter of a concentric circle within which most of the power of the beam is transmitted. In the list of statements below, check each one that is correct regarding the effective diameter:  

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* 5. When a ray of laser light strikes the first surface of living tissue, some of its intensity will be reflected from that surface. The major effect of this reflection is to diminish the intensity of the ray penetrating into the tissue. The reflectance of soft tissue is characterized by some of the statements listed below. Check each correct statement:

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* 6. When the beam of a continuous-wave Nd:YAG laser is delivered to tissue by a quartz fiber that does not touch the tissue, it is not very effective for vaporizing or cutting until some free carbon has formed by thermal breakdown of the tissue. However, it can be used for effective cutting of soft tissue if the distal end of the fiber is contoured into the shape of a needle with a small radius at the distal tip, or a conical tip of sapphire is attached to the distal end of the quartz fiber, and this tip is put in contact with the tissue. These terminations of the fiber enable the Nd:YAG laser to cut tissue effectively because…(check each correct statement):  

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* 7. In the list of laser types below, select the one OR two major biophysical process(es) for each type - coded by number - which are effective in soft tissue at that wavelength, and at the power densities usually employed for that laser. Processes are:

1.  PhotoCHEMolysis
2. PhotoPYRolysis
3. PhotoVAPORolysis
4. PhotoPLASMolysis

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* 8. Accidental laser beam trauma to unintended targets has been a major cause of injury and death during laser surgery. In the list of four possible trauma events below, check just ONE of the options A, B, C, or D for each event to denote the relative risk of that event, with A denoting the lowest risk and D the highest risk:

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* 9. Smoke is an inevitable byproduct of surgery with any device that thermally dehydrates tissue and heats it to combustion temperatures. Denote each statement below as either true (T) or false (F) by selecting either a (T) or an (F) option for each:

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* 10. Fractional lasers remove pigments by which mechanism?

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* 11. Match each hair removal device with the most correct description, by selecting ONE letter for each device letter that denotes that description:   

A. Adequately damages non-pigmented hair at very high fluence, which makes it a good option in vellus hair removal.
B. High melanin absorption, best indicated in light skin (Fitzpatrick skin I - II), with high power consumption and a relatively slow repetition rate.  
C. Extremely high-powered device.  Permanent hair removal can be obtained in a significant percentage of patients. Its wavelength permits deeper penetration and treatment of darker skin types (Fitzpatrick skin III - IV).
D. Effective for a wide range of skin types due to the wide choice of different wavelengths, pulse durations and delay intervals. 

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* 12. IPL devices are high-intensity, polychromatic light sources that emit pulsed light wavelengths between 400 nm and 1200 nm. Chromophore hemoglobin absorption peaks are at which of the following wavelengths: (there may be more than one correct answer) 

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* 13. When using the 1320 nm Nd:YAG laser, what what dermal temperature is required for collagen denaturation and wound healing response?  

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* 14. FINAL QUESTION: Thank you for taking the ABLS Trial Exam!

Please take a moment to review the information below and tell us how you think you scored. Then click DONE and see your score.  If your score is less than 75-80%, you likely have an opportunity to increase your knowledge of laser biophysics, safety and/or clinical application. 

  If you wish to apply, take advantage of a discounted application fee of just $50 within 30 days (regular = $150).  We NOW offer UP TO 28 CME CREDIT HOURS!  Download your application at americanboardoflasersurgery.org and email to lasers1060@gmail.com, and reference the Trial Exam.  Please remit using PayPal Option R on our Payment Page.

  We invite you to join our unique List Serve knowledge network.  It's FREE!  Great opportunity to tap expertise and make new connections worldwide.   Click the List Serve link on our site.  Over 475 List Members and growing!

  Practitioners must have a solid understanding of laser physics, tissue interaction, and safety to maximize efficacy.  The ABLS Certification provides a valuable learning experience and superior knowledge of laser and light tissue interaction at the chomophore level for optimum treatment parameters.  You can differentiate your practice to patients and augment manufacturer training.

  Certification is three steps: 1) submit an Application,  2) complete the Written Examinations (online),  and 3) sit for the Oral Specialty Examination (via web conference).

  The ABLS is the world’s ONLY laser medical specialty board.  The Board’s Certification includes...Fundamental Laser Science, Delivery Systems, Laser and Light-tissue Interaction, Ethics and Laser Safety for all practitioners -- and Cosmetic Laser and Light Disciplines for cosmetic laser practitioners; or Dental Laser Procedures for dental laser practitioners. 

Visit www.americanboardoflasersurgery.org for more information OR email us at lasers1060@gmail.com.


  Edward M. Zimmerman, M.D.