Mr A. O. Grobbelaar  MBChB  MMed(Plast)  FCS(SA)(Plast)  FRCS(Plast)

Laser Surgery - Resurfacing

 

Introduction

Resurfacing of the skin by laser surgery involves a layer by layer evaporation of the area of skin treated. Several laser can be used the most common being the CO2 laser or the Erbium/Yag laser. It can be used for treating wrinkles as well as other irregularities, for example scarring caused by acne. In addition to resurfacing laser treatment results in a certain amount of collagen shrinkage and tissue tightening. In the long term it is also thought to stimulate new collagen production.

The surgery

Depending on the area involved it can be performed as an outpatient procedure under local anaesthetic although more extensive areas will require a general anaesthetic and sometimes an overnight stay in the hospital. After the procedure the wounds are normally cared for with an open or closed regime depending on the area and the individual patient. Anti-viral and anti-bacterial antibiotics will be prescribed. Pain is moderate and can easily be controlled by oral medication.

Side-effects

Hypo or hyperpigmentation can occur. Hyperpigmentation will eventually fade within 2 to 6 months.  Hypo-pigmentation may be permanent and may be more likely to occur in skin previously treated by chemical peeling or dermabrasion. It is also more commonly seen with the treatment of more severe wrinkles. The risk of scarring is minimal. Strict adherence to all post-operative instructions will reduce the possibility of this occurrence. An allergic reaction to the local anaesthetic or the topical cream can occur. Flare up of milia can occur in the post-operative period.

After the surgery

Fluid formation and scabbing occur for a period ranging from 10-21 days. After that the skin will have a bright red colour. The redness fades over several weeks and normal skin colour returns in about 3 months. Opaque make-up can be used to camouflage the redness. The skin should be protected from sun exposure for a period of 6 months after the treatment.

If you require further information or want to schedule a consultation please contact Mr. Grobbelaar's secretary details on the Contact page