Thinking about cosmetic surgery? Wondering about lasers and how they work in cosmetic surgery?

We asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help us understand cosmetic laser surgery better.

We know: All About Cosmetic Laser Surgery

How are lasers used in cosmetic surgery?

Lasers are used for whatís called laser resurfacing. The laser vaporizes, or burns, superficial layers of facial skin. This creates a new surface over which new skin can grow.

What kinds of things are lasers used for in cosmetic surgery?

Lasers can help remove wrinkles and lines from the face, as well as acne scars, and some folds and creases around the nose and mouth. Lasers can also be used for some precancerous and benign superficial growths.

Does laser resurfacing work?

It can make skin look considerably younger, according to some physicians, and the results can sometimes last for several years.

Does the government regular laser surgery?

No. The FDA does not regulate how doctors do laser procedures, however, it does clear laser devices for marketing for the uses requested by the manufacture of the laser.

Who is a good candidate for laser surgery?

Laser cosmetic resurfacing works best on people with light skin, and people who do not have a reaction to the follow up medication and lubricants used during the healing process.

What does the healing process entail?

Healing takes about 10 days. There is usually bruising, swelling, some crusting, oozing and scabbing of the skin.

What there risks with cosmetic laser surgery?

The most of the complications, such as prolonged redness, tenderness, easy flushing and some pigment changes, are temporary. However, some people experience a permanent lightening of the skin called hypopigmentation, or permanent scarring.

What should I do when looking for a doctor?

Do more research about cosmetic laser surgery, including surfing the net. Once you have located several doctors, interview them. Evaluate their answers and their credentials. Ask for references.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Ask where the doctor has trained, particularly in regards to the laser equipment.
  • Ask if the doctor rents or owns the equipment. (Owning may indicate a commitment to training in laser surgery.)
  • Ask how many different kinds of lasers the doctor has and how often each is used. Different lesions required different lasers, and the more lasers a doctor has, the better equipped s/he is to meet a patientís needs.

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