There are a variety of surgical procedures which utilize lasers, including laser skin peeling to reduce facial wrinkles and certain blemishes and laser hair transplantation in which the treated area is prepared with the laser. Lasers are also used in the removal of birthmarks and skin lesions, including port-wine stain birthmarks, skin growths, spider veins, warts and some tattoos. In medicine, lasers may also be used to make incisions, vaporize tumors, and close blood vessels. Whether or not an individual is a good candidate for laser surgery, and which type of laser is appropriate, is best determined with the help of an experienced plastic surgeon.
Laser surgery is often performed in a surgeon’s office, though it can also take place in an outpatient center or hospital. Local anesthesia is commonly used to numb the areas being treated. After laser surgery, some swelling and skin redness can occur and typically lasts for the first few days. During the healing process, patients may need to use an antibiotic ointment and sun exposure will likely need to be limited for some time. The full effect of laser treatment, particularly in cases involving vascular deformities, may take one to two months after treatment to be apparent, and some forms of laser surgery may require multiple treatments.
Laser Skin Resurfacing FAQs
Laser surgery includes a variety of surgical procedures which utilize a laser, a high-energy beam of light that selectively transfers energy into tissue to treat the skin. Lasers are commonly used in plastic surgery as a light scalpel’, allowing the tissue to be changed without making an incision and reducing the amount of bleeding. Cosmetic procedures which commonly utilize lasers include laser skin peeling, laser hair transplantation, removal of birthmarks and skin lesions, tattoo removal, and spider vein treatment. In many cases, multiple treatments with the laser are necessary. There are many different applications for the laser, as well as many different types of lasers. The decision of whether or not to use a laser and which type of laser is best determined by an experienced plastic surgeon.
There are many different cosmetic applications for the laser, including the following: laser skin peeling to reduce facial wrinkles and certain blemishes; laser removal of birthmarks and skin lesions, including port-wine stain birthmarks, skin growths, spider veins, warts and some tattoos; and laser hair transplantation in which the treated area is prepared with the laser. Lasers are also used in medicine to vaporize tumors, close blood vessels, and make incisions.
Lasers are appropriate for use in some types of surgeries and not in others. An experienced plastic surgeon can help you to determine if you are a good candidate for laser surgery. Anyone considering laser surgery should fully understand the procedure and have realistic expectations.
During a consultation for laser surgery, the doctor will discuss your goals and discuss your options. He or she will conduct an examination and take a thorough medical history. The doctor will discuss all aspects of the procedure, including the technique, the facility, the anesthesia, the risks, the costs and any necessary pre-surgical preparations.
Many types of laser surgery can be performed in a surgeon’s office, while other procedures may be performed in an outpatient facility or hospital.
Local anesthetics may be used to numb the treated area before laser surgery.
Some swelling and skin redness may occur for several days after laser surgery. Patients may be required to antibiotic ointments during the healing process. The doctor will provide you with specific post-operative directions which should be closely followed. In many cases, sun exposure may need to be avoided and sunblock used. In some laser treatments, particularly those involving vascular deformities, the full effect of treatment may not be apparent for one to two months. In addition, multiple treatment sessions may be required.
Laser surgery performed for purely cosmetic purposes is typically not covered by insurance, though some degree of coverage may be available for procedures performed to correct or improve congenital deformities or injuries.