Sedation Not Needed for Laser Resurfacing

Sedation Not Needed for Laser Resurfacing

Question:

Can I get laser resurfacing without sedation? I do not want any sedatives as I don’t need any. I heard a doctor around here wouldn’t even do it without the patient being sedated. However, I have heard of some that just use local anesthesia with an OPTION for sedative or iv sedation. Please let me know if this is absolutely necessary. I really don’t need to be sedated in my opinion (as long as I am pain free with the local).

Answer:

You can definitely get laser resurfacing without sedation. The local anesthesia used for laser resurfacing should be 100% effective so that there is no pain during the actual treatment.

The type of local anesthesia varies with the type of laser that is used for the resurfacing. In most of my cases resurfacing with the erbium laser, which is most often used to treat specific regions of the face, can be done using only a topically applied anesthetic. After each “pass” of the laser, additional anesthetic solution is applied, so that the numbness persists even into deeper layers of the skin. The carbon dioxide (CO2 ) laser, on the other hand, requires an injected anesthetic. This is true for both conventional and fractional CO2 laser resurfacing. In most cases the CO2 laser is used for resurfacing the entire face. Even for full-face CO2 laser resurfacing, most of the anesthetic injection is nearly painless (this is because tumescent local anesthesia is used). Most patients require no sedation with either type of laser.

Please keep in mind that I developed my methods of anesthesia over the past 16 years of performing laser resurfacing, with the goal of maximizing patient comfort during this procedure. Not all laser surgeons use similar methods of local anesthesia.

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