Laser Procedure Overview
The condition of your skin speaks volumes about you before you ever say a word. A glowing complexion without wrinkles, scars, and discoloration is within your reach if you call Palm Desert Plastic Surgery today. Dr. Suzanne Quardt is an innovative leader in the use of non-invasive laser and cosmetic dermatology to treat a variety of cosmetic and medical skin issues. With her impeccable credentials, Dr. Quardt is sought after for her opinions on cosmetic and medical treatments and she shares her knowledge and expertise with physicians from around the world.
The use of lasers in medicine is complex and Dr. Quardt is trained in the use of lasers and understands how and when to use one. You can trust her to decide if a laser is appropriate and which laser is best for your situation. In medicine, physicians use lasers to make incisions, vaporize tumors, close blood vessels, selectively reduce pigmentation, or to treat skin wrinkles. The laser makes it possible to change tissue without making an incision so a surgeon can treat birthmarks or damaged blood vessels, remove port-wine stains, and shrink facial “spider veins” without major surgery. Because of this, it is no wonder that many facial plastic surgeons use lasers on a routine basis. The laser is known as a “light scalpel” because the tissue is left sterile and bleeding is greatly reduced. When treating your skin with a laser, the laser energy penetrates your skin and no cuts are made.
During your consultation, Dr. Quardt will explain the laser of choice and what can be accomplished. As with all surgery, the laser has its limitations but usually the results are spectacular. Because safety is a major component of laser use, Dr. Quardt will describe safety precautions before your surgery. Palm Desert Plastic Surgery offers the latest technology in laser procedures treating many aesthetic defects from rosacea to spider veins. If you want younger, healthier looking skin quickly and safely, call Palm Desert Plastic Surgery today and we will schedule your confidential laser therapy consultation.
The word laser is an acronym, which stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. In simpler terms, a laser is a single-wavelength source of high-energy light, which can be accurately focused to transmit that light on to a very small area. Ordinary light is composed of many different colors and appears white and lasers have the unique ability to emit an intense beam of bright light of one color or wavelength. The high-energy beam of light from a laser can selectively transfer its energy into tissue to treat the skin. Lasers contain a material that produces and amplifies light and two mirrors cause the light to reflect back and forth through this material. These properties, which separate the laser from a light bulb, are important to the medical application of lasers.
Lasers are monochromatic, which means that a given laser emits light of only one wavelength (or color) of light. They work in cosmetic applications through a process called selective photothermolysis. Selective photothermolysis modulates the frequency of light (photo) to produce heat (thermo) in the specific area of the corresponding area targeted to be destroyed (lysis). To do this, the wavelength of the light beam must be in sync with the color of the target that is to be addressed, whether it is brown spots, unsightly red broken capillaries, or some other undesirable skin condition.
As an internationally renowned laser surgeon, board- certified Dr. Suzanne M. Quardt M.D., recognizes that a healthy face stems not from your skin but from the underlying shape of your facial tissues. Her minimally invasive approach to cosmetic surgery encompasses the latest advances in lasers and other technologies custom suited to your particular needs. Dr. Quardt uses laser surgery for a variety of conditions and she is considered an authority on the use of lasers in dermatology, cosmetic surgery, and in laser resurfacing. Dr. Quardt takes great pride in personally providing an in-depth consultation for every patient as well as performing each laser procedure herself for your safety. At Palm Desert Plastic Surgery, Dr. Quardt has blended the latest cosmetic surgical techniques with a state-of-the-art laser and skin center under one roof.
Dr. Quardt understands the importance and use of cosmetic lasers, intense pulse light devices, plasma devices, and LEDs in her aesthetic practice. She knows that one aesthetic light device cannot be used for all problems and diagnoses. Because of this, she has amassed a full line of aesthetic lasers, intense pulse light devices, LEDs, and low level light lasers. She has proudly created one of the most complete laser centers in the Coachella Valley and beyond.
The light devices Dr. Quardt uses include:
- Intense Pulsed Light Devices
- Light Emitting Diodes
- Low Level Light Lasers
Types of Lasers
Laser light has three unique characteristics:
- It is monochromatic which means that it includes only one of the wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- It is coherent which means that all the waves of light are in synchronization or they each reach their high and low points at the same time.
- The light waves are collimated or perfectly parallel and they never spread out.
There are two basic types of lasers used for cosmetic purposes: ablative and nonablative thus the different types of cosmetic laser surgery can be divided into ablative laser surgery and non-ablative laser surgery. The two basic types can be further broken down into many subcategories of laser types and into literally hundreds of variations and brand names, which fit into these subclassifications. The main differences between the types of lasers have to do with wavelength as different laser wavelengths (colors of light) target different skin issues. This means a variety of lasers are needed to treat a variety of skin concerns and for this reason, a combination of several different lasers may be recommended to address all of the problems that you may have. Lasers are most often used in cosmetic surgery to address skin issues because the laser is able to change the tissue without the need to make an incision.
Ablative lasers actually vaporize the top layers of damaged skin, while less aggressive non-ablative lasers penetrate deeper into the skin but do not remove or harm its top layers. Non-ablative lasers allow your surgeon to perform cosmetic laser surgery with a much-reduced risk of burns, scars, and pigment changes. Non-ablative lasers work beneath the skin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, leading to improved skin tone with minimal side effects and little recovery time. The low intensity of the laser preserves the health of your skin tissue as much as possible, although this means several treatments may be required before you achieve your desired results. Another advantage of non-ablative laser treatments is non-ablative lasers affect the tissue in the deep layers of skin. The epidermis (superficial layer of skin) is not visibly disrupted so there is little if any downtime. Because of their non-wounding properties, non-ablative lasers are slowly becoming more commonly used for a variety of conditions.
Ablative lasers use the power and heat of light in a targeted beam to remove and resurface your skin, either superficially or through to the deeper layers. Ablative laser treatments actually vaporize your damaged skin with an intense wavelength of light that reaches your skin’s epidermis. Ablative lasers produce amazing results in resurfacing skin to diminish wrinkles, acne scars, surface irregularities and in improving overall skin tone and texture. Although ablative lasers are one of the most effective ways to correct your skin flaws, they do not take away deep wrinkles or sagging skin.
There are different types of ablative lasers, and some target deeper into the epidermis than others. Because the ablative laser procedure is more intense, you will need some form of pain relief during your procedure, depending on your pain tolerance. For the deeper penetrating lasers, general anesthesia is typically provided because the laser is resurfacing the skin at the epidermis. For the less intense ablative lasers, topical and oral pain medications or sedatives are given prior to your procedure. Although this procedure is intense, the results are dramatic. You will basically have new skin that has regenerated itself and the result can last up to five years. You can also extend your results by maintaining your skin with other procedures like chemical peels or microdermabrasion. As with any cosmetic treatment, because of the sun and aging process your face will still age. With ablative laser treatment however, you are targeting all of your skin imperfections at the core and as a result you will have less damage with most of it occurring at the surface levels of your skin.
There are a variety of lasers and each type produces a different color of light (wavelength) or distributes the light in a different pattern. These differences determine which tissue the laser affects and how it might be used to treat your skin. Yellow-light lasers are particularly effective at treating red areas (birthmarks or visible blood vessels) whereas red-light lasers are more effective at treating brown spots (age spots. Dr. Quardt will decide what type of laser to use on your skin depending on the extent of any problem that needs to be addressed. Sometimes a combination of lasers is necessary; for example, deep acne scars may be treated with an ablative laser while more superficial scars may require only a non-ablative laser.
Advances in cosmetic laser technology have helped make lasers, in addition to the traditional surgical procedures, an exciting and important component in the rejuvenation of your skin. Dr. Quardt offers multiple cosmetic lasers to bring together the art and science of her aesthetic surgical practice. She has incorporated cosmetic lasers to offer new and less invasive ways to achieve improvements in your face and body.
The lasers Dr. Quardt uses have revolutionized the treatment of a wide variety of skin disorders including:
- Skin Resurfacing
- Pigment Correction
- Vein Work
- Wrinkle Removal and Reduction
- Skin Tightening
- Laser Lipolysis
- Plasma Skin Resurfacing
- Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing
- Treatment for Acne and Acne Scars
- Skin Texture and Tone
- Hypertrophic Scars
- Stretch Marks
- Removal of Birthmarks and Skin Lesions
Many procedures can be performed with different lasers. The choice of the laser depends upon several factors, including the size of the area to be treated and the expectations of the patient. Cosmetic laser surgery may be carried out on other parts of your body as well. Contouring and tightening treatments where fatty deposits most often accumulate, usually your thighs, abdomen, buttocks and upper arms, can be performed using non-invasive laser procedures. These treat the deeper layers of your skin to disperse the fatty pockets and upper skin layers to minimize the appearance of cellulite. The latest techniques are offered for removal of unwanted fat in almost any body area through tumescent liposuction and liposculpture, requiring only a few days down time. Please visit the links listed above for a complete description of the procedures performed by Dr. Quardt.