Lucy Brennan saw what her girlfriends had endured following various cosmetic surgery procedures and she was leery, not impressed. Some of the face lifts appeared to be too severe, and the chemical peels and laser resurfacing procedures were too aggressive. The women’s skin lost a lot of pigmentation, and the texture made the faces look like they had been burned. And even after the skin had healed, she wasn’t always sure the results were worth the risk.
“I wasn’t sold on a lot of those procedures. Their skin looked like they’d been in a fire,” she said of her girlfriends. “I didn’t want to go through having blisters. I was waiting for something better to come along,” she said.
Brennan then learned of a technological advancement in cosmetic CO2 laser surgery that would allow her to treat her sun-damaged skin without the dreaded after affects. The procedure took less than 30 minutes and didn’t require a full anesthesia. And when she walked out of her dermatologist’s office, she didn’t rush home to recuperate. “That afternoon when I had it done, I had a baseball hat and a pair of sunglasses and went shopping at Nordstrom’s”, said the 60-year-old interior designer. “I used to wear a heavy make-up foundation to cover up the brown sunspots. Now I just use a tinted moisturizer.”
Three months after her skin resurfacing, Brennan remains pleased and is considering undergoing the treatment for a second time. She believes it will appeal to women and men who don’t want to have a face lift or who are afraid of the traditional skin resurfacing. “Would I do it again? In a minute. I definitely think it’s an answer for people who don’t want to go so drastic to go under anesthetics. You drive yourself there, and you drive yourself home. And you’re not in pain”.
“The response has been tremendous,” said Tomi Wall, Brennan’s physician who treats patients in Oakland, California. “The older systems worked well. The results were impressive. But there were lots of risks in terms of scars, discoloration, or infection during the healing process. And because of all the potential side-effects, people were wary of the procedure”.
While a single treatment usually yields substantial results, patients with deeper skin damage may require additional MiXto SX and MixtoSX treatments spaced a month apart; older systems demanded a 3-to-6 month wait. And there are some patients who are not good candidates for the surgery: if, for example, facial lines are too deep remedial work can improve but not erase them. Also, persons with darker skin must be cautious. Wall said every laser system she’s worked with may cause discoloration or scarring of dark skin.
Both genders are attracted to laser skin resurfacing, according to Wall, but for different reasons. “Women just want to look younger. Men will tell me they want to be competitive in the workplace,” she said, adding, “I think men notice the changes in their skin just as much as women do. But they’re uncomfortable talking about it. They need to find someone they feel comfortable discussing those concerns with”.
Michael Cedars, M.D., a plastic surgeon in Oakland, California, said a 58-year-old male patient has reported that he continues to see improvements in his skin . three months after the laser treatment. The patient said that his fine facial lines have smoothed out, and that people have told him he looks like he’s in his mid-forties.
Cedars cautioned that while his patient quickly returned to his normal business and personal routines, he was required to wear sun-block every day for at least a month. And while the skin is temporarily more sensitive to the environment than it was before the treatment, in the long run patients should be able to return to their normal skin care regimen. He advises all his patients to use sun screen daily and to use common sense while in the sun; otherwise, those brown spots, wrinkles, acne scars, and creases around the mouth and nose may return.
With the new fractional C02 laser, a single procedure treats a controlled fraction of the facial area and rawness is avoided. This is the key reason, Cedars said, for more doctors to consider the new fractional approach. “This system provides the benefits of CO2 laser with less down time. Who could benefit from having less down time? Everybody,” he said.
“I want people to have reasonable expectations, cautions Cedars. Patients are happy when they know what to expect. If they hear that one treatment is all that is necessary, then they’re told they need a second treatment, they may feel taken advantage of. It wouldn’t be surprising if it takes more than one treatment to get the desired affect. Results may very with genetics and personal history,” he said.
Daniel Cassuto, M.D., a professor of plastic surgery at the University of Catania in Italy agrees. Cassuto, who has performed well over 100 facial laser procedures using the MiXto SX and MixtoSX, rarely uses an anesthesia when resurfacing at a mild-to-moderate heat intensity. Also, the new system offers the ideal combination of non-ablative and ablative methods, due to the specialized optional accessories Lasering USA has created. “The MiXto SX and MixtoSX C02 laser is the best fractional device currently on the market. To date, I have more than 100 cases and everyone has been enthusiastic,” he said.
*For any procedure and service described on this website, individual results may vary and may not be applicable in all cases.