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From the early 1990's the laser began to gain a great deal of popularity for applications in the fast-growing field of aesthetic surgery. Plastic surgeons and an ever-widening field of other medical professionals began using lasers and their special properties.

By definition, change is the only way forward for all sciences and the medical sciences are no exception. Nevertheless, medical sciences, while dedicated to the service of human needs, lack the wide margin for errors other sectors may enjoy.

Visionary medical professionals could foresee the growing appeal of the laser based methods as well as the urgent need to help in dealing with the changes they would bring to aesthetic processes. They wanted to help in spreading the correct information to their fellow professionals, the various policy makers, the industry and the public, thus allowing for the rapid development of the lasers to be characterized by safe and calculated steps towards an exciting future full of new possibilities.

The European Society of Laser Aesthetic Surgery was founded in March 1997, in the city of Cambrils in Tarragona. Its mission is to provide a medium for practical and theoretical instruction, research and exchange of scientific knowledge related to the use of light and lasers in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery in Europe, for European and overseas users alike. Within the Society's boundaries plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons, ophthalmic and oculo-plastic surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, ENT surgeons, dermatologists and laser scientists find the grounds for the dissemination of knowledge with multilateral benefit.

ESLAS is a "sister society" of ELA (the European Laser Association) since 1999 and the President of ESLAS is a member of the ELA Executive Committee.