Northern Virginia, Fairfax and Manassas
By: George Bitar, M.D. and Larry Lickstein, M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeons
Laser resurfacing has evolved significantly over the past decade. Newer technology, different wave lengths, and treatment protocols have all lead to improved outcomes, reduced complications, and reduced downtime. Laser resurfacing can now be performed in an ablative fashion to treat deep wrinkles and textural problems, in a fractional fashion to treat acne scars and in a superficial fashion to improve tone, texture and fine lines. These procedures are typically done in the office with light sedation and local anesthesia. These procedures can also be done in a staged fashion to achieve excellent outcomes while reducing recovering and downtime.
Deep laser resurfacing is indicated for treating severely sun damaged skin with deep wrinkles and textural changes. It is also indicated for patients with a condition called rhinophyma. It can also be used for scar management in some situations. Fractional laser resurfacing is indicated for treating acne scarring, large pores and moderate textural changes. Microlaser peel or superficial peel is indicated for treating mild to moderate sun damaged skin with sun spots, mild textural changes, and fine lines and wrinkles.
The premise is simple, if some or all of the top layer of the skin is removed, then new skin will regenerate, and new collagen is deposited leading to a healthier appearance with even color tone and consistency.
Preparing for the Procedure
An initial consultation is set-up where we discuss laser resurfacing procedure, and whether you are a good candidate for this procedure. Alternatives may be discussed as well. Your medical history is reviewed. You are asked to stop smoking, if you are a smoker, two weeks before and two weeks after the procedure, 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 procedure you are considering. We will see you shortly after the procedure (in a day or two usually). You are seen regularly after your procedure. You are always welcome to come back for follow-up, even years after your procedure, free of charge.
For the right patient, laser resurfacing 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 laser resurfacing itself. This procedure takes about thirty minutes to one hour, depending on the area that is treated.
The procedure is relatively simple and straightforward. A patient, who is deemed a good candidate for this procedure, is given antibiotics and anti-virals. The patient is given a mild oral sedative and topical or local anesthesia is administered. Next, the laser is used to precisely, resurface the skin in either a deep, fractioned or superficial fashion. The early result appears as either mild redness or moderate redness with minimal bleeding. A thick ointment or ointment and dressings are placed on the treated area. Frequent washes and ointment reapplication are initiated once you get home. The skin is pink for a few days to two weeks, and gradually starts looking natural and vibrant. Patients are cautioned to stay out of the sun the first few weeks after this procedure. As new skin is forming, it is more susceptible to hyperpigmentation when exposed to the sun. Smoking delays wound healing which can lead to permanent scarring.
Our office will provide you with a detailed post-operative instruction sheet that will be individualized to your needs.
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.