31 Jan ABRASIVE LASER / ERBIUM LASER
ABRASIVE LASER / ERBIUM LASER
To renew the surface of the skin, we perform a resurfacing or laser abrasion with the help of the Erbium laser. Indications are e.g. wrinkles, sun damage or scarring as a result of acne or chickenpox.
The procedure can be performed by itself or in addition to other plastic surgical procedures, e.g. a blepharoplasty or a facelift. We can treat your entire face or individual areas, e.g. crow’s feet, the skin around your mouth or around your eyelids.
Discolouration of the skin after an Erbium laser treatment is extremely rare. The skin will heal over the course of circa one week and may be slightly red for three to six weeks after the procedure (as opposed to using a CO2 laser, which causes the redness to last more than six months)
Contrary to using a CO2 laser, the procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic. That means you do not have to be admitted in the surgical centre and can return home shortly after the treatment.
Since a few years ago, this procedure is often combined with some form o lipofilling, also known as SNIF or Nanofat grafting. This will significantly improve the quality of the results and allows us to use a less invasive laser treatment, since the wrinkles are also filled up from the inside.
BEFORE THE PROCEDURE
On the day of the procedure, you can have a light breakfast or lunch. You must take any prescribed daily medication unless those include blood thinners. You will be prescribed some pills against cold sores (Docaciclo) and the ointment you will need at the end of the procedure. Remember to bring this ointment along on the day of the procedure.
You should come to the surgical centre either without makeup or with the necessary attributes to remove your makeup. We also ask that you do not use any skin cream that day: a slightly greasy skin is harder to draw up, which we need to do to perform the procedure.
You should bring a light scarf or headscarf to wear after the procedure. It is advisable to wear loose clothes, preferably ones that you do not have to put on over your head.
During the treatment with the Erbium laser, your eyes will be protected with two protective covers. We can also give you some earplugs if you wish, because the machine is quite noisy. In some cases, your doctor may decide to administer a sedative before the procedure, so you can rest easy during the process itself. Before the procedure, the surgeon will make some notes on your face to identify the areas to be treated.
During and after the procedure, which the surgeon will explain to you in detail, our nurse will be there to assist you. First, we will wash your face with a disinfectant. The local anaesthetic is administered via subcutaneous injection with a very thin needle, just like the one your dentist uses. You will feel a small sting and a slight burning, but any discomfort will go away momentarily. The anaesthetic will last for circa 1.5 to 2 hours and ensures you do not feel any pain during the treatment.
Once the anaesthetic is active, the surgeon will move across the areas in question with the laser beam. He will have to cover the same area multiple times to reach the desired depth. Near the end of the treatment, there may be some slight bleeding, but that will stop very quickly. Any wounds are similar to grazed skin.
The procedure ends with the cleaning of your face and the application of a layer of healing ointment. You can have someone take you home just half an hour after the procedure.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
Once the local anaesthetic is active, you may feel a slight burning sensation, but no actual pain. You must cover your face for fifteen minutes at a time, three times per day, with compresses soaked in a solution of lukewarm water (a cup) and vinegar (a teaspoon). This will dissolve any scabs and make you feel refreshed. Afterward, you apply a generous layer of Vaseline paraffin. It is important to keep the wound for drying out, so you must regularly reapply the ointment.
If you have someone to help you, you can wash your hair with baby shampoo from the first day after the procedure.
The wound may bleed slightly during the first twenty-four hours after the procedure. Rest assured that this is perfectly normal. Some swelling of the face during the first few days after the procedure is also common and will gradually subside.
In most cases, the new skin will be fully healed after four to seven days. During this healing phase, you must take pills to prevent cold sores and infections. The treated skin is more susceptible to those. Your plastic surgeon will give you the prescription you need.
During the first week after the procedure, you will meet with the surgeon for a check-up once or twice. After that, appointments will be scheduled for three weeks and three months after. The final check-up will take place after six months.
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