What is the Correct Settings for a Full CO2 Ablative Skin Resurfacing?

I received my medical record and this was the settings: First pass done with 30 watts, 400 dwell time and 500 microseconds of spacing. The face was then feathered with a drop in dwell time to 200 microseconds. Bacitracin ointment was then applied diffusely. Is this the correct setting for a full CO2 ablative laser?

Doctor Answers 2

Correct settings for CO2 ablation

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Your question did not state which Laser system was utilized in your treatment. There is also no mention specifically of what problem is being treated and the severity of that problem . There is also alot of variability among practioners . Also I did not examine you. For these and for other reasons it is difficult to state if the settings are appropriate. Most importantly were the results good. Has your laser surgeon performed many of these procedures with good - excellent results. These and similar question can give you an indication of your laser surgeon's ability. Good luck!

Everybody needs different settings

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One thing to consider is that co2 laser resurfacing now a days is based on non continuous type of application of the laser. This cuts down on peripheral damage. For skin, the trt for 20-30 micro meters of skin is 1 milli sec and the optimal fluence is 5 j/m2. 30 w is 30 joules per second with a dwell time of 400 microseconds.  With those settings you might get more treatment of the deeper skin. This could get better results. But I typically stick with the 5 j/m2 and 1 millisecond dwell time for safety reasons.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

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