Fraxel Restore from a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist?

There are several places by me that offer Fraxel Restore. I have acne scars and was recommended by a dermatologist to have this treatment done. There are a few plastic surgery centers and one place called a Dermatology and Laser treatment center. I like the sound of the laser center with dermatologists, because the name sounds like they obviously have experience in lasers. But I have no idea if a plastic surgeon would be better or if the dermatologist would be.



Doctor Answers 6

Either a Good Choice

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In choosing whether to consult with a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist for this treatment, I think the decision should be based on experience. Although most of the innovations and leaders in laser medicine may be dermatologists, plastic surgeons have been quick to grasp the benefits of these medical devices, so at this point, I do not see major differences between the two specialties.

I agree with Dr. Aldea, one must be careful to interpret the moniker of a laser center. Merely being able to afford a few lasers and taking a Saturday morning laser course, does not qualify one as a laser expert. There are many of these type of physicians embarking on this road to what they perceive as "riches". With the hot breath of health care "reform" bearing down on our profession, I can only anticipate even more of these centers springing up.

Getting back to names. Some can sound quite august, so do not pay attention to this to the exclusion of other factors. For instance the Laser Institute of New England sounds impressive and maybe the gynecologist running it is excellent. However, if it were my face I would trust someone whose sole practice is limited to skin care. It is difficult enough to keep abreast of advances and maintain knowledge in one's own specialty without having to learn another's from scratch and without the benefits and guidance of residency training.

So, in sum, look beyond the name.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Either for the laser, a dermatologist for skin advice

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In general, I recommend you go to the doctor with the most experience treating your particular problem. If you want to be cut on for a facelift or nose correction, see a plastic surgeon first. Eye issues? Likely an oculoplastic surgeon will have the greatest expertise. Injectables are done all day, every day by cosmetic dermatologsits while surgeons are in the operating room (although more and more surgeons are choosing injectables over the knife), so a cosmetic dermatologist likely does more Botox and filler than many plastic surgeons. Finally, when it comes to advice on acne, discolored skin, fine lines, I personnaly think you get the best guidance from a dermatologist.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Laser qualifications

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Both dermatologists and plastic surgeons are exposed to lasers during their training. However, laser teaching is widely variable and most experienced laser physicians are members of the American Society of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (ASLMS). I would recommend checking to see if your doctor is a member of ASLMS. Also make sure you look for before and after photographs. Many photographs are provided by the laser company when the doctor purchases the laser. Make sure and look for photographs of patients which that particular doctor has treated and also feel free to ask him or her for references of patients who have been treated.

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

You might also like...

A dermatologist or a plastic surgeon?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Who ever you have treat your acne scars, make sure they have experience. Experience is much more important than the type of doctor who is going to treat your acne scars.  Do your homework find someone who is experienced and who you are comfortable with.

J. Timothy Heffernan, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Plastic surgeon or dermatologist for Fraxel Restore

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I think you are too caught up with the name on the door than the name on the board certification diploma.

Either a board certified Dermatologist or a board certified Plastic surgeon who is experienced with lasers would be competent. But I would NOT have my face cooked by a laser based on the group's name. The name is both a marketing and legal ploy which has little to do with what is behind it.

You may want to look up Dr. Barry DiBernardo in Montclair. He is an acknowledged laser specialist.

Good Luck.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Fraxel laser for acne scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Either a dermatologist or plastic surgeon can perform this treatment well. What is essential is to have an experienced laser surgeon do your treatment. Although nurses and physician assistants can do an excellent job, laser energies involved with acne scar treatment might be better utilized by physicians who know the anatomy and science of skin healing. If there is direct physician supervision, then it might be fine, but many doctors will do this treatment themselves and I prefer that for acne scars.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.