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Laser surgery

The word laser is an acronym for:

L ight
A mplification by
S timulated
E mission of
R adiation

By stimulation of certain molecules light energy is emitted. Different molecules (and therefore different lasers) produce light of different wave lengths that are absorbed by specific tissues or pigments. This light is passed through a focusing lens to produce a beam of intense energy.

How Does it Work?

For resurfacing, carbon dioxide, erbium, or a combination of both gases is used to produce light energy that is absorbed by water. Because the skin is 70% water the laser beam actually vaporises the epidermis or top layer of skin. Subsequent passes of the laser beam will vaporise deeper layers (or papillary dermis) of the skin. Continued passes can damage the pigment producing cells (melanocytes) or burn right through the skin and cause scarring.

Extremely short exposure time to a single spot of skin reduces the collateral heat or thermal damage to the remaining skin. As he depth of the laser treatment progresses, the collagen and elastin fibres that have become disorganised and stretched by photoaging undergo a reformation process with shrinkage and reorganisation, with the result that the skin can tighten and look more youthful.

By being able to control power, spotsize and the dwell time of the laser beam, ablation of the skin can be controlled precisely, with minimal heat injury to the surrounding skin, little or no bleeding, and subsequent minimisation of the attendant risks or potential complications.

© Pelvic Floor Clinic 2014