In conjunction with her Facelift procedure, his patient underwent laser resurfacing for a regenerated, rejuvenated, and refreshed look.

View Patient Details

What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?

by Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez

Laser resurfacing of the skin is a method to make the skin of the face younger looking. Although it is not 'surgery', it is a procedure which requires some degree of sedation or anesthesia. It can be performed in an office setting or it can be done in the operating suite at the same time other procedures are being done.

Who benefits from this procedure?

What can I do for sun damaged skin and fine facial wrinkles?

-a Maryland patient

Think of the aging face as an old house. For example, if part of the house is tilting because it is settling into softer ground, it would be like the neckline sagging. Structural work, or surgery is needed. If the house is structurally sound, but the paint is cracking and peeling, it is like sun damaged wrinkly skin. It needs removing the old paint and applying a new coat of paint. Laser gets rid of the old layers of skin, and makes the body regenerate a new layer of skin. A person with sun damaged skin and many fine wrinkles, who nevertheless has very good facial structure is the ideal candidate for laser resurfacing. A person whose skin is sagging but doesn't have fine wrinkling of the skin is better off with facelift surgery. The older patient with sagging structures and fine wrinkling of the skin can benefit from a combined approach of facial surgery and laser resurfacing.

What is involved in the procedure?

The procedure can be performed under IV Anesthesia.  The laser evaporates the top layers (epidermis) of skin. This top layer will continue to peel or shed for the next few days and a new layer will then regenerate. Thus, regeneration of the skin is prompted  by the destruction caused by the Laser. In other words, after the laser destroys the top layers, signals are sent to the tissues and skin to rejuvenate.

What is the post op recovery period for Laser Skin Resurfacing?

The skin must be protected during the healing period by applying ointments every few hours, or a gel dressing that can stay on for 12 hours, or a silicon dressing that can stay on for a few days. We prefer the gel dressing method for its comfort and because it allows for frequent cleansing of the skin. The skin is usually completely healed by 5 to 7 days after surgery. Redness of the skin may persist anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, but it can be covered with cosmetics. Patients should protect the skin from sun exposure afterwards.

Is there an alternative to Laser Resurfacing?

Yes, there is a great alternative to Laser Resurfacing!  It is called Fat Transfer or Fat Grafting.  The process of tissue regeneration works without having to destroy tissue first.  The active process is initiated by adipose stem cells which reside in your own fat. They send the signaling to tissue and skin to repair and rejuvenate.  This is a huge promising new field of medicine!  Adipose Stem Cells are the new frontier of Plastic Surgery.

Before and After Laser Resurfacing Photos

See our gallery of Before and After Laser Resurfacing Photos, all performed by Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with over 20 years experience. Please note that all of these patients have given their written consent to use the photos at our web site. We are very grateful to our patients for participating in patient education!