“Fractional lasers are like aerating your lawn, where you have a bunch of holes in your lawn, but you have normal lawn in between. This allows for more rapid healing because intact, normal skin bridges the gap between the laser-induced injured skin,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel, director of the Clinical Center for Cosmetic Laser Treatment and chief of plastic surgery at the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Dallas.
“There are lots of new lasers that come out on the market. We take a scientific approach when investigating new laser devices. We evaluate the laser on tissue that has either been removed from patients or that we plan on removing so we can determine what effect it’s going to have before we start treating patients clinically”, Dr. Kenkel added.
Early carbon dioxide-based lasers were popular in the early 1990s, but faded from favor due to long recovery periods – sometimes spanning several months – and pigmentation inequities that resulted in loss of pigmentation in the patient’s skin after treatment. The new laser treatments are office-based procedures done on an out-patient basis, but may require some local or regional anesthetic, with recovery time related to the type of procedure. In most instances recovery is between three and five days. The popularity of out-patient, office-based laser procedures have been rising as lasers have improved.
“There are a lot of patients who would rather not have surgery and who are looking for things to improve their appearance without surgical down time,” Dr. Kenkel said. “In addition, there’s a whole group of younger patients who are looking for improvement who are not necessarily in need of surgery but perhaps would benefit from some of the lesser invasive procedures that we have to offer.”
MEDICA.de; Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center