LASER SKIN RESURFACING
WHAT IS LASER SKIN RESURFACING?
State-of-the-art skin resurfacing is performed with a super-pulsed carbon dioxide laser. Laser surgery involves a special beam of light energy that is absorbed by the skin and surrounding tissues. The laser pulse reduces or removes wrinkles and lines around the face, eyes, forehead and mouth.
HOW IS LASER SKIN RESURFACING PERFORMED?
At English Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center, laser skin resurfacing is carried out under local anesthesia with I.V. sedation. If a full-face laser resurfacing is recommended, it is performed as an outpatient procedure at the Little Rock Surgery Center or Baptist Medical Center. General anesthesia is used for this procedure. When the skin resurfacing is completed, the patient leaves the facility with no dressings on the skin. There is a fair amount of stinging in the peeled area for several hours afterward, but this is easily tolerated through the use of oral medication.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Some degree of swelling follows laser skin resurfacing. The swelling is due to the new tissue fluids brought into the area by the body to promote healing. When the fluids are no longer required, they are absorbed into the bloodstream. The patient can expect swelling to peak around 72 hours after the procedure. Most of Dr. English’s laser skin resurfacing patients in Little Rock reported that the majority of the swelling was gone in two to three weeks.
The skin will usually take a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of three to nine months to heal. The red coloration of the skin becomes pink and then regains a more normal skin color during this healing period. With some skin resurfacing procedures, the resurfaced areas may be lightened by approximately half a shade after six to nine months. While the skin is healing, it is thinner and more sensitive. The “new” skin must be kept moist and protected from the sun.
The final result will not be apparent for at least three to nine months following the procedure. The patient must be willing to accept the temporary swelling and discoloration that occurs following skin resurfacing. Most of our patients felt the inconvenience was a small price to pay for the cosmetic improvements.