Lasers, Lasers, Lasers!



- Win Pound, M.D.

These days, the emphasis is less on surgery and more on non-surgical procedures in order to enhance our appearance. Fillers, Botox/Dysport, and lasers are replacing surgery to re-shape, add volume, and eliminate facial lines and wrinkles. Part of this is due to the tight economy and another part is due to the need to eliminate any lengthy recovery period.

I always admonish patients to be careful when dealing with doctors who own lasers. Lasers are very expensive to buy and doctors are therefore highly motivated to sell these treatments to patients whether they need them or not in order to pay for the laser. If a better laser or treatment option comes along, the doctor is still married to the laser he/she bought until it is paid for and will therefore promote it vigorously.

I am pleased that our office offers a variety of lasers which I rent as needed. Because I don't own these lasers, I am not financially tied to them. I can be honest with patients when I recommend a laser since I have no financial investment in the lasers.

The fall and winter months are the best months for utilizing lasers that smooth facial wrinkles and even out blotchy skin. Following laser resurfacing of the face, the patient may be slightly crusty for a few days and may be pink for a few days to a few weeks afterwards. They may also be sun sensitive for up to six months following laser treatments of the face. For that reason, this is the perfect time of the year to get those laser treatments in so that you will be ready to get back outside when spring and summer roll around.

We also offer the SkinPen II for facial rejuvenation. While not a laser, the SkinPen II uses microneedling of the skin in order to stimulate elastin and collagen formation leading to a more youthful appearance. It is especially good for patients with acne scarring. Because it is less invasive than lasers, the SkinPen II may require three or more treatments in order to obtain results similar to the laser, however, the recovery is not as prolonged and patients may get back to their normal routine within a day or two after a treatment.

I am always fascinated by tattoos. I have been playing sand volleyball for twenty-five years. When I first started playing, I would occasionally see guys with the barbed wire tattoo around their biceps. These days, I see whole sleeves and full body tattoos on men and women when I play beach tournaments. Still, that proud eagle that you got on a spring break dare in Cancun, Mexico when you were in college might now be looking more like a tired pigeon as you have gotten older. Fortunately, we have a laser that can remove tattoos. Most tattoos require between four to eight treatments to remove in their entirety.

I am often asked about spider vein treatments. In the past, I would refer patients elsewhere, but not anymore. We now have a wonderful laser that helps get rid of unsightly skin lesions and spider veins in the legs and elsewhere. The treatments are easy and there are no compression garments to wear and no restrictions on activities afterwards.

We also have a laser that assists us in surgery. The SmartLipo Triplex laser helps liquify fat during liposuction resulting in more fat removal, smoother results, and more skin tightening, especially on patients with poor elasticity of their skin.

Finally, hair removal using lasers is popular especially during the fall and winter months. Darker pigmentation in the skin from tanning may interfere with the hair removal laser which is why January is a good time to come in for laser hair removal Most patients are out of the sun during the colder months. Laser hair removal generally takes six treatments to complete.

Lasers are an excellent, non-surgical means to improve the appearance of skin, remove hair, unwanted spider veins, and tattoos, and also improve results with liposuction. Although lasers can be used at any time of the year, fall and winter months are usually the best time for these treatments.
Article by
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon