Northern Virginia- Fairfax and Manassas
By: George Bitar, M.D. and Larry Lickstein, M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeons
Dermabrasion is not the same as microdermabrasion, which is a medspa procedure that we offer. Dermabrasion is a procedure done in the operating room, where a device is used to remove the top layer of the skin down to the dermis, creating bleeding, but giving a significant improvement that cannot be attained non-surgically.
Dermabrasion is indicated for people with bad facial scars, acne scars, or chickenpox scars. It is also an excellent tool to soften the “smoker’s wrinkles” around the lips as a result of smoking, sun damage, or old age. Dermabrasion can greatly improve the depth and quality of scars, and some specific wrinkles. The premise is simple, if the top layer of the skin is removed, then new skin will regenerate that is healthier, with even color tone and consistency.
Preparing for Surgery
An initial consultation is set-up where we discuss dermabrasion procedure, and whether you are a good candidate for the surgery. Alternatives may be discussed as well. Your medical history is reviewed, and you will be asked to see your medical doctor for a physical check-up and a few labs to make sure you can undergo the surgery safely. You are given the opportunity to be seen by your own doctor to give the green light for surgery. You are asked to stop smoking, if you are a smoker, two weeks before and two weeks after surgery, for the surgery to be performed safely, and for you to have optimal results. You are given the opportunity to talk to patients who have had the same surgery you are considering. We will see you shortly after the surgery (in a day or two usually). You are seen regularly after your surgery. You are always welcome to come back for follow-up, even years after your surgery, free of charge.
The Dermabrasion Procedure
For the right patient, dermabrasion can be an extremely gratifying operation. The advantages are natural looking results; long-term skin enhancement with what is usually a difficult problem to address, and no scarring from the dermabrasion itself. This procedure takes about one hour, depending on the area that is dermabraded.
The procedure is relatively simple and straightforward. A patient, who is deemed a good candidate for this procedure, is given antibiotics, and anesthetized in the operating room. The facial skin that has the scars is injected with tumescent solution. Next, a device is used to gently dermabrade, or peel of the skin. The result appears as though that area has been ‘sandpapered”. Dressings are placed on the raw surface area, and kept for about a week, as new skin regenerates underneath the dressing. The skin is pink for a few weeks, and gradually starts looking natural and vibrant. Patients are cautioned to stay out of the first few weeks after this procedure, as new skin is forming, which is fragile.
Our office will provide you with a detailed post-operative instruction sheet that will be individualized to your needs. We usually see patients the day after surgery in one of our offices to make sure that everything is O.K., and that you are healing as planned. Multiple visits in the year after the procedure will ensure the best outcome possible.
For more information about this procedure call our office and speak to our friendly staff member at 703-206-0506.
Information on this web site is for information only. Do not use the information to diagnose or treat your plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery problems. Please contact your plastic surgeon with all questions and concerns.