Laser Treatments

MediSpa : Laser Treatments

Laser Hair Removal

Traditional hair removal techniques, such as shaving, plucking and waxing, provide only temporary relief. Electrolysis, although it can lessen hair growth, often requires years of ongoing and frequently painful treatments. Allergic reactions and ingrown hairs are common side effects of all these hair removal methods. Laser hair removal brings hair removal to a new level of effectiveness and convenience with longer lasting results.

Cynosure Apogee 5500 Laser Hair Removal

At the Center for Plastic Surgery we use only the most advanced technology. The Cynosure Apogee 5500 is gentle, effective and convenient – just a quick office visit produces beautifully enduring results. Unlike other laser hair removal systems, the Cynosure Apogee 5500 takes only minutes.

How does it work?

The process is simple. The laser works by selectively targeting the pigment inside the hair follicle. Each “pulse” of the red laser light takes less than a second to disable large numbers of hair follicles.

The Cynosure Apogee 5500 is different from other laser hair removal systems in that no painful waxing is necessary beforehand and there is no need to suffer through growing out the hair first. Anesthesia is not required, and most individuals experience no more than a slight stinging sensation as the laser pulses are applied. Some parts of the body do tend to be more sensitive than others, and sometimes redness or swelling will occur for a few hours afterward, but the Cynosure Apogee 5500 safely removes unwanted body hair without damaging the delicate pores and structures of the skin.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions will vary for each individual and will also depend upon where the hair is located on the body. During the initial visit, the Cynosure Apogee 5500 removes the visible hair and disables those follicles in the “active” phase of the growth cycle. Follicles in the “resting” phase will not be affected. Eventually, as these dormant hairs become active and begin to grow, additional sessions may be desired. Over time, hair growth will be slower and finer.

How long does each session take?

Facial and bikini areas are usually completed in less than ten minutes; legs and larger areas take longer. The freedom from unwanted body hair is now easier and more comfortably achieved, leaving you with a smooth, clean and fresh feeling that endures longer than ever before.

Laser Anti-Aging

Choosing a solution for hair removal and skin rejuvenation was once a confusing and difficult decision. Many methods and technologies promise the best results, but most fall short. IPL technology has changed everything. Simply put, IPL is proven to be the safest, most effective and comfortable solution for the superior results you demand.

How does IPL work?

IPL (Intermittent Pulsed Light) or elos (electro-optical synergy) uses a unique combination of radio frequency and light. Using two energies instead of one means more effective results for you with lower overall energy output. Lower energy output means the highest level of safety and comfort for you. Gentle pulses of targeted energy isolate the treatment area and leave the surrounding skin free from potentially harmful side effects.

What does it do to fight the signs of aging?

IPL safely and comfortably treats rosacea, spider veins, skin imperfections caused by sun damage, age spots and uneven skin tones created by brown and red spots. All of these conditions, which can make the skin look older and less healthy, are no match for the power of IPL. It’s advanced skin removal made simple.

Does IPL work for everyone?

IPL is an effective treatment for most skin types, but of course you’ll want to consult with your doctor to discuss how IPL technology can help you achieve superior results for skin rejuvenation. Furthermore, IPL technology is the FIRST technology that effectively removes hair of all colors – including white, gray, red and blonde. IPL is a faster, gentler way to remove unwanted hair on all colors of skin, including tanned skin, with exceptional results.

Laser Vein Treatments

We are pleased to announce that our office recently added a new skin treatment tool that allows us to provide a simple cosmetic procedure for the removal of spider veins, age-related spots, freckles and other pigmented and vascular blemishes. This tool is the latest technology for the gentle, safe treatment of vascular and pigmented lesions, the DioLite 532 laser.

What is the IroDex DioLite used to treat?

The DioLite 532 specifically targets vascular and pigmented blemishes or signs of aging. A vascular lesion is formed by large or numerous blood vessels located directly under the skin so they are visible or create a look of redness to the skin. Spider veins are the most common vascular lesions and are usually found on the face or legs. Pigmented lesions are generally caused by melanin. Melanin is the dark pigment in skin. When there is an abundance of melanin in the skin, it forms freckles, brown age spots and moles.

Vascular lesions treated by the IroDex DioLite include:

Telangiectasia – facial spider veins caused by a dilation of the capillary vessels or arterioles
Cherry Angiomas -slightly raised, red lesions
Spider Angiomas -slightly raised, red spider-like lesions
Rosacea – red facial lesions around the nose and cheeks causing a sunburn look

Pigmented lesions treated by the IroDex DioLite include:

Lentigines – a flat, brown spot skin with frequent sun exposure
Keratoses – slightly elevated pigmented spots often found on the back and hands
Freckles – a brownish spot on the skin common on people with fair skin
Dermatosis Papulosis Nigra – small, black marks seen primarily on people of Asion or African descent

Does treatment hurt?

In most cases, there is no pain and anesthesia is not needed. Some patients report feeling a slight stinging sensation, followed by some redness, which goes away in two to four hours.

How long does treatment take?

In most cases, there is no pain and anesthesia is not needed. Some patients report feeling a slight stinging sensation, followed by some redness, which goes away in two to four hours.

Where does treatment take place?

Treatment takes place in the comfort and convenience of our offices.

What does IroDex DioLite treatment cost?

It depends on the density of lesions being treated. Treatment usually costs between $200 and $350.

Is there much post-treatment care?

Post-treatment care is minimal and very simple. The doctor may ask the patient to use an anti-bacterial ointment on the treated area for a short period of time and will suggest the patient stay out of the sun during the healing process.

When will the patient see results?

Results are almost immediate and there is no post-treatment bruising. Final results may take between two and three weeks.

Who should consider treatment?

Anyone bothered by what they consider unattractive skin lesions is a candidate for treatment. After a brief examination, a doctor will be able to determine if laser treatment is appropriate for the candidate.

Laser Resurfacing

If you’re considering laser resurfacing…

In laser resurfacing, sometimes called “laser peel,” a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is used to remove areas of damaged or wrinkled skin, layer by layer. The procedure is most commonly used to minimize the appearance of fine lines, especially around the mouth and the eyes. However, it is also effective in treating facial scars or areas of uneven pigmentation. Laser resurfacing may be performed on the whole face or in specific regions. Often, the procedure is done in conjunction with another cosmetic operation, such as a facelift or eyelid surgery.

Laser resurfacing is still a very new procedure. However, it has been shown that in some cases, this surgical method produces less bleeding, bruising and post-operative discomfort than is typically seen with other resurfacing methods.

The following information will give you a basic understanding of the laser resurfacing procedure – when it can help, how it’s performed and what results you can expect. It cannot, however, provide all the details which may be relevant to your particular needs. Please ask your plastic surgeon if there is anything about the procedure you don’t understand.

A word about the laser

Laser resurfacing is performed using a beam of laser energy that vaporizes the upper layers of damaged skin at specific and controlled levels of penetration.

It’s clear that laser resurfacing may offer a number of advantages over other resurfacing methods: precision, little (if any) bleeding and less post-operative discomfort. However, laser resurfacing isn’t for everyone. In some cases, an alternative skin resurfacing treatment, such as dermabrasion or chemical peel, may still be a better choice.

All resurfacing treatments work essentially the same way. First, the outer layers of damaged skin are stripped away.

Then, as new cells form during the healing process, a smoother, tighter, younger-looking skin surface appears. Laser resurfacing is a new method being used by plastic surgeons to remove damaged skin. Because it is new, there are no long-term data on this technique. However, a number of studies using microscopic examination have shown that the physical changes that occur to laser-treated skin are essentially identical to those that occur with either dermabrasion or chemical peel. Ask your plastic surgeon about the latest facts concerning long-term follow-up.

For superficial or medium resurfacing, the laser can be limited to the epidermis and papillary dermis. For deeper resurfacing, the upper levels of the reticulas dermis can also be removed. Varied penetration allows treatment of specific spots or wrinkles.

It’s also important to consider the length of recovery when choosing among the skin-resurfacing alternatives. In general, the more aggressive the resurfacing procedure is, the more prolonged the recovery is likely to be. “Light” resurfacing procedures, such as superficial chemical peels or superficial laser resurfacing, offer shorter recovery times. However, these lighter procedures may need to be repeated multiple times to achieve results comparable to those achieved with more aggressive techniques.

The best candidates for laser resurfacing

In many cases, facial wrinkles form in localized areas, such as near the eyes or around the mouth. The laser can be precisely controlled so that only these specific areas are targeted.

Men and women of all ages can benefit from laser resurfacing. The ideal patient for laser resurfacing has fair, healthy, non-oily skin.

When healing is complete, the face has a more youthful appearance.

Patients with olive skin, brown skin or black skin may be at increased risk for pigmentation changes no matter what type of resurfacing method is recommended. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your skin characteristics and make recommendations accordingly.

Also, individuals who have taken Accutane in the past 12-18 months or are prone to abnormal (keloid-like) scarring or those with active skin infections on the treatment area may not be appropriate candidates for this procedure.

Remember, having laser resurfacing can help enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t completely remove all facial flaws or prevent you from aging. Lines that occur as a result of natural movements of the face – smiling, squinting, blinking, talking, chewing – will inevitably recur. Your plastic surgeon can suggest ways to help you preserve your results by protecting yourself from sun exposure or using maintenance treatments, such as light chemical peels or medicated facial creams. Before you decide to have laser resurfacing, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk

When laser resurfacing is performed by a qualified, experienced surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. However, because individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions and their healing abilities, the outcome is never completely predictable.

Risks associated with laser resurfacing include: burns or other injuries from the heat of the laser energy, scarring and obvious lightening or darkening of the treated skin. Also, laser resurfacing can activate herpes virus infections (“cold sores”) and, rarely, other types of infection.

Additional corrective measures and treatment may be required if healing seems abnormal or delayed or if there is any evidence of abnormal pigmentation or scarring.

You can reduce your risks by choosing a qualified plastic surgeon who has received special training in laser surgery.

Planning your surgery

Not every practitioner who offers laser surgery has the same level of experience and skill with laser use. That is why it is especially important that you find a plastic surgeon who is adequately trained in the procedure.

One safety measure is to find out whether your surgeon has privileges to perform laser resurfacing with a CO2 laser at an accredited hospital. Even if the operation is to be conducted in your doctor’s private facility, the fact that he or she has privileges to use that same laser in a hospital ensures that the doctor has been reviewed by the institution’s experts.

In your initial consultation, be frank in discussing your expectations with the surgeon and don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have. Your surgeon should be equally frank with you, explaining the factors that could influence the procedure and the results – such as any abnormal skin condition that has been diagnosed or previously treated, medications you are taking or have taken in the past, previous skin injuries or previous operations.

Your surgeon will discuss your medical history, perform a routine examination and photograph the area to be treated. He or she should explain the procedure in detail, along with its risks and benefits, the recovery period and the costs.

Remember, cosmetic laser treatments can be expensive and are usually not covered by medical insurance. On rare occasions, the procedure can be used for modification of scars or the removal of pre-cancerous skin growths. These conditions could meet the criteria for “medical necessity,” usually required by insurance companies before coverage will be provided. Your plastic surgeon can advise you how to contact your insurance carrier to determine whether benefits will be allowed in such instances.

Fine, vertical creases or “lipstick lines” are commonly treated with laser resurfacing.

Within about five weeks after treatment, the upper lip is noticeably smoother.

Preparing for the laser procedure

Depending on your individual needs, your surgeon may recommend that you begin a pre-treatment plan to prepare the skin for resurfacing.

At the time of the procedure, you will be given specific instructions on how to care for your skin immediately following your laser treatment. Your surgeon may also instruct you to follow a specific maintenance regimen for long-term care of the skin to maximize the benefits of the procedure.

While you are making plans, be sure to make arrangements for someone to drive you home if you will be given tranquilizers or sedation for your laser treatment.

Where your laser treatment will be performed

Laser resurfacing may be performed in a hospital, an outpatient surgery center or a surgeon’s office-based facility. For cost containment and convenience, laser resurfacing is usually done on an outpatient basis. For the more extensive resurfacing procedures or for resurfacing combined with other surgical procedures, you may be admitted to a hospital or a recovery center.

Types of anesthesia

Laser resurfacing is most commonly performed under local anesthesia with sedation, especially when it’s used to treat localized areas of the face. You’ll be awake but relaxed, and will feel minimal discomfort. For more extensive resurfacing, your surgeon may prefer to use general anesthesia, in which case you’ll sleep through the procedure.

The procedure

Laser resurfacing is a relatively quick procedure. It usually takes anywhere from a few minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how large of an area is involved.

When the imperfections are especially deep, your surgeon may recommend that the resurfacing be performed in two or
more stages.

During the procedure, the activated laser is carefully passed back and forth over the skin until the surgeon reaches the level that will make the wrinkle or scar less visible.

When the procedure is over, your surgeon may choose to treat the resurfaced skin with applications of protective creams or ointments until healing is complete. Some surgeons choose to apply a bandage over the treated areas, which will cover and protect the healing skin for the first five to ten days.

After your treatment

You are likely to experience some mild swelling and discomfort after laser resurfacing. However, this can be controlled with ice packs and medications prescribed by your surgeon.

If a bandage was applied after your procedure, it may be replaced with a fresh one after a day or two. After about a week or so, your bandage will be removed and a thin layer of ointment may be applied to the skin. Once this stage is reached, your surgeon will provide instructions on how to gently wash and care for your healing skin.

During this phase of healing, it is very important that you not pick the crusts off the treated area or scarring may result. Most patients are free of crusts by about 10 days post-operatively. Redness may persist for several weeks.

Getting back to normal

Your new skin will usually remain bright pink to red in the weeks following the procedure. Your surgeon may prescribe medications to make this color subside more rapidly. After about two weeks or so, most patients can safely apply makeup to conceal this temporary color change. However, some pinkness may remain for up to six months.

It is rare, but some patients may find that their healing skin is unusually sensitive to the makeup that was regularly used prior to treatment. In such instances, makeup should be avoided until a substitute can be found or until the healing progresses to a point at which the makeup no longer causes a reaction.

Above all, in the months following treatment, it’s important to protect the treated area from the sun until all the color has returned to normal. Using sun protection regularly will help to maintain your results and reduce the chance of any new sun damage to your skin.

If you must be in the sun, apply a strong sun block with an SPF of 15 or higher and shade your face with a hat or visor. If resurfacing was performed around the eyes, it’s best to also wear good quality sunglasses with UVA and UVB 100 percent filters.

Your new look

The final result from laser resurfacing may take several months to fully appear. However, once the pinkness fades, patients usually notice a significant improvement in the quality of their skin and a fresher, smoother appearance.

It’s important to understand that your results will be long-lasting, but not permanent. Remember, your new skin is not immune to the effects of aging. In the months and years following your laser treatment, your natural facial movements will eventually cause any “expression” lines to recur.

As with other methods of skin rejuvenation, laser treatments can usually be repeated. However, by protecting yourself from the sun and following a skin-care regimen recommended by your plastic surgeon, you can help maintain your rejuvenated look.