Understanding Laser Surgery
Lasers are medical devices which produce high-energy, focused beams of intense, “single-colored” light and heat which have been found – through ongoing research and extensive clinical experience – to selectively interact, in very useful ways, upon various tissues within the skin and body. The amount and distribution of energy in laser light is more precisely delivered – over mechanical application of a scalpel or topical chemicals – for the successful treatment of many aesthetic and medical conditions.
Dr. C. Bakala uses the Sciton Profile Laser in his practice. www.sciton.com
Laser Skin Resurfacing
The Sciton Profile laser uses the Erbium: Yag module for this procedure. Laser resurfacing can be used to reduce wrinkles around the lips or eyes, even the entire face, softening fine wrinkles and removing certain pigmentations and other colored blemishes on the face. Skin resurfacing removes the epidermis and penetrates into the papillary dermis, which responds by producing new collagen.
A number of techniques are available today that enable facial plastic surgeons to treat a wider range of skin problems than ever before.
Laser Removal of Birthmarks and Skin Lesions
Port-wine stain birthmarks respond remarkably well to laser treatment. The abnormal blood vessels that cause these marks are reduced in size by the laser. This results in a lightening of the treated area. Skin growths, facial “spider veins,” warts, and some tattoos respond to laser surgery. Most situations take more than one laser treatment, but some respond to a single treatment.
The facial plastic surgeon often uses the minimum laser intensity possible. The low intensity requires many treatments. However, the low intensity also preserves as much of the healthy tissue as possible. This produces an aesthetically pleasing result. Many of these laser surgeries are performed as outpatient treatments in hospitals or offices.
Understanding the Surgery
After your surgeon has indicated that a laser can be helpful in the surgery; your surgeon will explain the laser of choice and what can be accomplished. As with all surgery, the laser has its limitations. Often the results are very good. Your surgeon will give you the best judgment for the particular procedure.
Depending on the procedure performed Dr. C. Bakala may use local anesthetics to numb the treatment area before the procedure. Because safety is a major component of laser use, Dr. C. Bakala will describe safety precautions before the surgery. This will include the patient following all pre-operative and post-operative information closely. If a patient is having Laser Resurfacing or a Micro laser Peel they should expect to take time off of work for recovery.
What to Expect after Laser Surgery
After the surgery, you will probably experience some swelling and skin redness for several days (depending on the procedure and laser used). Antibiotic ointments may be used during the healing process. It is important for the patient to follow all the post – operative directions of the surgeon, particularly in using sunblock and avoiding sun exposure. *
The full impact of the laser may not be apparent for a month or two, especially with vascular deformities. Additional treatment sessions will not be scheduled until the healing process for a particular treatment is complete.
It is important for the patient to realize that lasers have specific applications. The facial plastic surgeon is experienced in the use of the laser and is the best source of information as to whether laser surgery is appropriate for your condition.
There are constant technologic advances which lead to even new applications of future generations of lasers. Dr. C Bakala will be happy to discuss them with you.
Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is done purely for cosmetic reasons. *Information from the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery website.
Please visit the Sciton Laser Website for further information about the laser and procedures www.sciton.com