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Laser Resurfacing
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Laser Resurfacing (Skin Rejuvenation)
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Description

Laser resurfacing (skin rejuvenation) is a cosmetic medical procedure in which a laser is used to remove layers of damaged and wrinkled skin so that new, smoother looking skin can form.


Length of Surgery

5 minutes to one and a half hours


In/Outpatient

Out patient


Anesthesia

Local anesthesia and/or sedation or general anesthesia if performing a full facial treatment or other procedures at the same time


Back to work in...

2 weeks


Back to the gym in...

4 weeks


Treatment Frequency

Occasional repeat treatments will be needed


Risks

Hyper pigmentation; skin lightening; scarring; infection; permanent loss of pigmentation; burns; skin texture changes; excessive laser penetration damage


Duration of results

Although the effects of laser resurfacing can last for years, wrinkles and expression lines recur as skin ages. Repeat procedures may be necessary.



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Click links below for detail.




Laser resurfacing Costs*

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons quoted the national average for Laser resurfacing treatment is approximately $845 per treatment. These are the doctor’s fees only and there will be other costs to take into account before you can determine the total laser facial resurfacing cost. The laser facial resurfacing price will vary depending on where you have the laser skin treatment performed, the experience of the laser skin resurfacing surgeon, and other factors such as anesthesia fees, facility fees etc. You also need to take into account the cost of any repeat laser facial resurfacing treatments.

If you are being treated in New York, you can expect to pay around 50% more.

Most cosmetic surgeons and surgical clinics offer flexible laser resurfacing financing and payment options, some of which allow staggered payments or loans from VARIOUS FINANCING COMPANIES. When comparing laser resurfacing prices between different cosmetic surgeons, be aware that the cosmetic surgeon's fee will not represent the total final fee, nor does it include the surgical facility's cost or the cost of the anesthesia. Prescription medication, such as antibiotics and pain medicine, as well as any dressings etc are also additional costs to consider.

If you are thinking about having a laser resurfacing treatment but want to explore more about the financing options available before you make your decision, PLEASE CLICK HERE. Be sure to discuss your financial options with your laser resurfacing surgeon, and find out if there are any loans of flexi-payment plans that will allow you to achieve the facial skin you have always desired and achieve your aesthetic goals and objectives.

To find out more about laser resurfacing financing options available please click here.

Am I a candidate for laser resurfacing?

The most important factors when determining if you are a good candidate for dermabrasion surgery are your skin type, coloring, and medical history.

You may be a suitable candidate for laser resurfacing if you want to treat:

  • Fine to moderate facial wrinkles
  • Liver spots or age spots (solar lentigines)
  • Uneven skin tones
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Acne or chickenpox scars

 

In general, the best candidates for laser skin resurfacing are:

  • Physically and emotionally healthy
  • Non-smoker
  • Have a desire to look younger and more refreshed
  • Are of suitable skin tone
  • Realistic in their expectations
  • Willing to accept the limitations involved in the healing process

 

You may not be a suitable candidate for laser skin resurfacing if you have any of the following:

  • Active acne
  • Very dark skin
  • Very sensitive skin
  • Keloids (unusual scar formations)
  • Cold sores, or you are prone to them

 

Before you choose to have laser resurfacing, make sure that you have realistic expectations for what laser resurfacing can do for you, and ensure that you choose an experienced and reputable practitioner who will discuss with you in detail whether laser facial resurfacing is the right procedure for you.
 

What is a laser resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing (skin rejuvenation) is a cosmetic medical procedure in which a laser is used to remove layers of damaged and wrinkled skin so that new, smoother looking skin can form. As part of the natural aging process, over time the effects of sun damage and environmental pollutants take their toll on our facial skin, creating lines and wrinkles around the mouth and eyes.

Laser resurfacing can help to minimize these lines as they begin to occur. Laser skin resurfacing treatments can also be used to reduce or remove acne, acne scars, chickenpox scars and other scars, pigmentation and facial thread veins.

Laser skin resurfacing is a treatment to resurface your skin, or to improve the texture and overall appearance of your skin. Laser resurfacing is a relatively new method of improving skin texture and appearance. Laser facial resurfacing can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles of the entire face, or those that develop in specific regions of the face, such as the upper lip and around the eyes, as well as treating pigmentation disorders, such as sun and age spots.

Laser facial resurfacing can provide the doctor with more control over the penetration of the skin than other resurfacing treatments, such as chemical peels and dermabrasion. Laser skin resurfacing allows doctors to treat delicate facial areas very precisely, such as those around your eyes and lips, as the laser gives the doctor more control over the penetration of the skin such as those around your eyes and lips.

In addition to skin resurfacing, laser resurfacing is also used to remove facial scars, acne scars, and excess facial hair.

Conditions that can be treated with laser facial resurfacing include:

  • Facial wrinkles, both static (wrinkles that do not change with facial movements) and dynamic (expression lines that may appear as folds when the skin is not moving, and deepen with facial muscular activity)
  • Pigmentation resulting from sun exposure - freckles, sun spots, melasma (dark brown or grey irregular patches on the face), or other darkened patches of skin
  • Scars – as the result of acne or injury to the skin
  • Vascular conditions – small blood vessels visible on the surface of the skin, which may appear as facial thread veins or a red facial flush
  • Loss of skin tone - weakening of collagen and elastin fibers that decrease skin firmness
Before you take the decision to undergo laser facial resurfacing, your laser resurfacing doctor will begin with a complete medical history and will examine your facial skin and the underlying bone structure. He or she may also take photos to compare your appearance before and after the laser skin treatment, and will give you specific instructions to follow before your laser facial treatments. This may include special skincare products that you will need to use on your skin prior to the laser resurfacing, to ensure that your skin is in optimal condition. Your laser resurfacing doctor will determine if laser skin resurfacing or another form of skin resurfacing is right for you. Careful consideration of your natural skin color and type and degree of scarring will determine the treatment best suited for you to minimize the risk of developing additional pigmentation or a loss of pigmentation (whitening of the skin). Learning everything you can about your options, risks and benefits is the key to making an informed decision about laser skin resurfacing. The success and safety of your laser skin resurfacing procedure depends on you honestly answering all questions during the consultation. Your doctor will discuss with you:
  • Why you want the procedure, your goals, expectations and desired outcome
  • Your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • The options available to you
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, aspirin, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • If you smoke
  • Any cosmetic procedures that you may have had in the past
  • Likely outcomes of a laser skin treatment and any risks or potential complications
A laser skin resurfacing procedure takes from just a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the size of the area being treated and the severity of the skin condition. Laser resurfacing procedures may be performed in a hospital, an outpatient surgical facility, or surgeon’s office. Extensive laser resurfacing, or resurfacing performed in conjunction with another surgery (i.e. a facelift), is generally performed in an outpatient surgical facility or hospital. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after the laser resurfacing procedure, and stay with you for a day or two to help you out if needed.

Laser resurfacing is usually performed under local anesthesia or local anesthesia with a sedative; so that you will be awake but very drowsy and relaxed during the laser skin resurfacing procedure. For complete laser facial resurfacing, or if other procedures such as facelift are being carried out at the same time, doctors commonly use intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, so you will be asleep for the entire procedure(s).

During the laser resurfacing procedure, an intense beam of light energy (laser) is directed at the area to be treated. The laser beam destroys the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and at the same time heats the underlying skin (dermis), which stimulates the growth of new collagen fibers. As the wound heals, new skin forms that is smoother and tighter.

After laser resurfacing surgery, the pain should be mild to moderate. The new skin will begin to form during the first few post-surgery days, though the final results will not be seen for a few months. A series of laser skin treatments are normally required to achieve improvement in skin texture and clarity and repeated treatments are essential to maintain your results, as the skin will continue to age and new lines, wrinkles and other skin blemishes will continue to form.

Daily sunscreen is highly recommended for at least six months after laser skin treatment to protect the sensitive new skin from sun exposure and prevent any further sun damage.

 

Laser Resurfacing Procedure Steps

Step 1 – Anesthesia

  1. Your skin will be thoroughly cleansed to remove facial oils. Antibiotic is then applied to kill bacteria. Your laser skin resurfacing doctor will then numb the skin with local anesthesia and may also administer a sedative to help you relax. For extensive laser resurfacing — such as treatment to your whole face — or if you're undergoing other cosmetic procedures, your doctor may give you general anesthesia.
Step 2 – The procedure
  1. A beam of light from a microphone-shaped instrument (the laser) is then passed over the skin to vaporize the outer layers (epidermis) of damaged skin. Brief, high intensity emissions of light from the laser remove layers of damaged or wrinkled skin at precisely controlled levels of penetration. The laser skin treatment doctor may penetrate more deeply in some areas, in order to remove deeper scars, stubborn spots, and wrinkles. As the laser skin treatment works, you may hear it zapping, and smell burning.
Step 3 – The dressings
  1. Finally, your facial resurfacing doctor, or medical assistant, may apply a protective ointment, bandage or special moisture-retaining tape to the treated area.
Step 4 – The results
  1. After the procedure, your skin will be red or pink, and swollen, but this swelling will subside in time. The new, smoother skin starts to appear over the course of a few months.

 

Laser resurfacing Recovery and Healing Steps

After the laser skin treatment, you may experience some swelling, bruising and discomfort such as itching and a sunburn-like sensation. Swelling can be eased by the use of cold packs, and any pain can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. The treated skin will appear red or pink.

If a bandage was applied after the laser facial resurfacing surgery, it will probably be changed in a few days, but it will be completely removed after approximately one week, and an ointment is also applied. It is important to keep the bandage dry, so you won’t be able to shower until it is removed.

If the treated area has not been bandaged, you will need to wash your face several times daily. Treat your treated skin with caution, and after gently washing your face, you will need to apply an ointment, such as petroleum jelly, to the treated area. Scabs may form, and last for about 10 days. Don’t pick at the scabs, as this may cause scarring.

The amount of time needed for recovery depends on the extent of the areas that were treated with laser facial resurfacing and the individual’s capacity to heal. When you go home, rest as much as possible to aid healing.

Skin redness may persist for several weeks, or longer. The redness gradually lightens to pink, and then to a lighter, more natural color. Bruising should subside after a few days. You can start to wear make up again approximately two weeks after the procedure to cover-up the redness and should be able to return to work at this time. Your doctor will advise you to avoid any contact sports for four to six weeks.
Your laser skin resurfacing doctor will provide you with precise instructions on how to care for the laser treated skin. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-bacterial medication to minimize the probability of complications, an anti-inflammatory and a steroid to further reduce inflammation.

You will also be advised about signs to look for that may cause concern. Be sure to attend your follow-up appointment(s) so that your doctor can check that your skin is healing effectively after your laser facial resurfacing procedure.

Ensure that you protect your skin after laser facial resurfacing from further sun damage by avoiding exposure to the sun for at least six to twelve months, until the pigment has completely returned to your skin.
 

Laser Resurfacing Side Effects and Risks

Laser resurfacing is normally safe when performed by a qualified, experienced physician. Ensure that you follow all the advice that your laser resurfacing surgeon gives you, to minimize the possibility of experiencing some of the more serious risks and complications.

As with any medical procedure, patients undergoing laser skin treatment may experience certain side effects and complications. Most of these are temporary, though some may turn out to be permanent.

Common laser skin resurfacing side effects include:

  1. Redness and irritation
  2. Tenderness
  3. Swelling
  4. Bruising
  5. Itching
  6. Tightness
  7. Burning sensation
  8. Easy flushing
Though the majority of laser resurfacing surgeries are successful, laser skin resurfacing risks and complications may include:
  1. Pigmentary changes, such as hyper pigmentation or skin lightening
  2. Scarring
  3. Infection
  4. Excessively deep penetration causing an injury that the skin cannot repair
  5. Skin burns
  6. Textural changes
  7. Skin surface irregularities
To reduce the risks involved in this procedure, carefully follow all of your laser skin resurfacing surgeon’s instructions, both before and after the laser facial procedure.

 

Questions to Ask a Surgeon about a laser resurfacing

Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about laser resurfacing. Here is an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself Surgeon.

  1. Am I a good candidate for laser resurfacing?
  2. Are my described expectations realistic?
  3. Where is the laser resurfacing performed?
  4. How long will the procedure take?
  5. What kind of anesthesia is used?
  6. What is your experience in performing laser resurfacing ?
  7. Can I see your qualifications? 
  8. Ask to see any laser resurfacing before and after photographs of recent procedures?
  9. What percentages of your laser resurfacing patients have had significant post-surgical complications? (surgeons should disclose this information to you)
  10. How much will my laser resurfacing cost?
  11. Do you offer patient financing? (flexible payment schemes for your surgery)
  12. Will you repeat/correct procedures if the agreed goals are not met? If this is the case, will I be charged again?
  13. Ask to observe the exact procedure you are considering before you decided to have surgery if you are unsure (this could be on videotape or in real life).
  14. What is the recovery and healing period for laser resurfacing ? When can I resume full normal activity?
  15. Have you ever had your malpractice insurance coverage denied, revoked, suspended
  16. Ask for and follow up on patient references (these can be invaluable to finding out what your surgeon is really like and the level of customer satisfaction he/she has received in the past)

 

Skin Rejuvenation Checklist

Skin Rejuvenation Checklist

Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about Laser Resurfacing procedures; click here for an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself skin specialist.

Most popular procedures on Perfect Yourself: liposuction, breast augmentation, face lifts, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks
 
Be sure to also visit our Expert Advice page where you can find great questions from real visitors, Answered by real plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists, and skin rejuvenation specialists.
 


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