What is laser surgery?
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.
What types of laser surgery are there?
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.
Who is the best candidate for laser surgery?
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.
What can I expect during a consultation for laser surgery?
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.
Where is laser surgery performed?
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.
What type of anesthesia is used for laser surgery?
Local anesthetics may be used to numb the treated area before laser surgery.
What is the recovery like after 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.
Does insurance cover the cost of laser surgery?
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.