Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is also known as a laser peel, laser vaporization or lasabrasion. Your surgeon uses the laser to send short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. This removes unwanted, damaged skin in a very precise manner one layer at a time. This targeted approach means there are fewer problems with hypopigmentation, or a lightening of skin for procedures such as laser acne scar removal.

The laser beam used in laser resurfacing will remove your outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. It simultaneously heats the underlying skin, called the dermis. This action works to stimulate growth of new collagen fibers. As the treated area heals, the new skin that forms is smoother and firmer.

Length 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Anesthesia General or local with sedation.

In/Outpatient Outpatient

Recovery Recovery times will vary depending on your treatment. CO2 laser resurfacing: generally up to two weeks. Erbium laser resurfacing: one full week.

Lasers Offered by Monmouth Plastic Surgery

  • IPL Intense Pulsed Light (Brown and Red Spot Removal)
  • Hair removal (IPL)
  • Pixel-Fractional Erbium Laser Skin Resurfacing
  • C02 Pixel Laser skin Resurfacing
  • LP Yag- Red Spot and Vein Removal

Side Effects Temporary tingling, burning, itching, swelling, redness. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sensitivity to sun; loss of ability to make pigment (tan).

Risks Complications of laser skin resurfacing can include acne flares, bacterial infection, cold sore reactivation, hyperpigmentation, milia, prolonged redness, scarring (rare but possible), and swelling.

Erbium Laser Resurfacing

Removes surface-level and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on the face, hands, neck, or chest.

Length A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.

Anesthesia Local with sedation, or general.

In/Outpatient Outpatient.

Recovery Back to work: the following day, though the skin will still be a little pink, but can be covered up easily with mineral make up.

Duration of Results Long-lasting, but does not stop aging. New wrinkles, expression lines may form as skin ages.

Side Effects No downtime except redness and slight swelling on the day of the procedure.

Risks Risks may include scarring, burns or blisters, abnormal pigmentation, infection.

CO2 Laser Facial Resurfacing

Smooth the face and smooth fine wrinkles using a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser device that treats layers of damaged skin. Softens lines around the eyes and mouth and minimizes facial scars and unevenly pigmented areas.

Length A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.

Anesthesia Local with sedation, or general.

In/Outpatient Usually outpatient, unless combined with other surgical procedures that require hospitalization.

Recovery Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4-6 weeks. Complete fading of redness: 6 months or less. Return of pigmentation/light sun exposure: 6-12 months.

Duration of Results Long-lasting, but does not stop aging. New wrinkles, expression lines may form as skin ages.

Side Effects Temporary swelling, discomfort. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sun sensitivity. Increased sensitivity to makeup. Pinkness or redness in skin that may persist for up to 6 months.

Risks Burns or injuries caused by laser heat. Scarring. Abnormal changes in skin color. Flare-up of viral infections (“cold sores”) and other infections (rare).

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Vascular Laser Treatment

Used to treat facial capillaries, rosacea, red scars, spider leg veins, red stretch marks as well as protein stains, hemangioma and warts.

Length About 20 minutes; the average number of treatments needed to achieve optimal results is one to three sessions.

Anesthesia Local.

In/Outpatient Outpatient.

Recovery Patients can return to work and other normal activities immediately afterwards. After laser vein treatment, patients may experience slight redness and bruising in the treated area, and may also notice a slight bump on the skin. These symptoms are usually mild and will go away on their own within a few days. Patients who undergo endovenous laser treatment may be required to wear compression stockings for about a week after the procedure.

Duration of Results Most patients see effective results from this procedure after two to six treatments that are spaced four to six weeks apart. Those with larger veins may require additional treatments.

The results of this procedure are not visible right away, and will instead appear gradually over the next few weeks. The treated veins will slowly develop scar tissue and begin to close, as blood flow is diverted to healthier veins. The appearance of the treated veins will significantly improve over this time as well.

Laser vein treatment is extremely successful in closing affected veins and improving the appearance of the legs through a less invasive procedure. More than 98 percent of patients are satisfied with the results of this procedure, and most results are permanent

Side Effects Temporary swelling, discomfort. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sun sensitivity. Increased sensitivity to makeup. Pinkness or redness in skin that may persist for up to 6 months.

Risks Burns or injuries caused by laser heat. Scarring. Abnormal changes in skin color. Flare-up of viral infections (“cold sores”) and other infections (rare).

Scar Management

Scar revision surgery refers to a group of procedures that are done to partially remove scar tissue following surgery or injury, or to make the scar(s) less noticeable. The specific procedure that is performed depends on the type of scar; its cause, location, and size; and the characteristics of the patient’s skin.

SURGICAL EXCISION
Surgical excision is a procedure in which the surgeon shaves down and cuts out scar tissue to reduce the size of the scar. This technique is most commonly used on large scars that cannot be treated adequately with medications or other nonsurgical means.

FLAPS, GRAFTS, AND ARTIFICIAL SKIN
Flaps, grafts, and artificial skin are used to treat contractures and large areas of scarring resulting from burns and other traumatic injuries.

Z-PLASTY AND W-PLASTY
Z-plasty and W-plasty are surgical techniques used to treat contractures and to minimize the visibility of scars by repositioning them along the natural lines and creases in the patient’s skin. They are not usually used to treat keloids or hypertrophic scars.

Length Depends on procedure performed.

Anesthesia Depends on the procedure performed and can include local anesthesia, intravenous sedation and general anesthesia.

In/Outpatient Depends on the procedure and can be In or Outpatient.

Recovery Aftercare following surgical removal of a scar is relatively uncomplicated. The patient is given pain medication, told to rest for a day or two at home, and advised to avoid any activities that might put tension or pressure on the new incision(s). Most patients can return to work on the third day after surgery. The most important aspect of long-term aftercare is protecting the affected area from the sun because the surgical scar will take about a year to mature and is only about 80% as strong as undamaged skin. Sunlight can cause burns, permanent redness, loss of pigment in the skin, and breakdown of the collagen that maintains the elasticity of the skin.

Aftercare following the use of skin grafts, flaps, or dermal regeneration templates begins in the hospital with standard postoperative patients care. If sutures have been used, they are usually removed three to four days after surgery on the face and five to seven days after surgery for incisions elsewhere on the body. Patients are usually asked to return to the hospital at regular intervals so that the graft sites can be monitored. If artificial skin has been used, the patients must keep the site absolutely dry, which may require special precautions or restrictions on bathing or showering.

Duration of Results The final results of your scar revision surgery will be long-lasting, however it may take several months for your final results to become apparent and in some cases it may take a year for the new scar to fully heal and fade.

Side Effects Depends on the procedure.

Risks Scar revision surgery carries the same risks as other surgical procedures under anesthesia, such as bleeding, infection at the incision site, and an adverse reaction to the anesthetic. The chief risk specific to this type of surgery is that the scar may grow, change color, or otherwise become more noticeable.