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patient education : 09002--Perfecta Pulsed Dye Laser Therapy

General information about Laser Therapy including what to expect, risks, making an appointment and how to prepare.

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    Perfecta Pulsed Dye Laser Therapy

    What is Pulsed Dye Laser Therapy?

    The Perfecta laser is used to treat skin lesions made up of small blood vessels close to the surface in the skin. The Perfecta produces a yellow light which is absorbed by the color red. The light is pulsed-in cycles of “on” for a very short time, then “off.” This results in careful destruction of blood vessels while leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed.

    What will the Laser Treatment feel like?

    Multiple treatments may be required depending on the type of lesion being treated.

    The laser pulse causes some discomfort usually described as a “rubber band snap” or a sharp tingling sensation. This only lasts for a short period of time and is tolerated by most patients without the need of anesthesia. A cooling spray just prior to the laser pulse helps to decrease the discomfort of the laser treatment. When this treatment is used to treat warts on the hands and feet, the pain can be more severe because higher energies are required and the cooling spray is turned off. If the pain is not well tolerated, a topical anesthetic may be helpful.

    What can I expect after the Laser Treatment?

    Immediately after the treatment, the area will be pink and swollen. Depending upon the type of lesion treated, some mild or significant bruising may also occur.  Bruising last 10-14 days. The redness and swelling may last for 2-3 days. If the cheeks have been treated, there may be significant swelling of the eyelids. This usually fades in a few days.

    Are there risks of having Laser Treatment?

    • After treatment, occasionally blisters and bleeding can occur.
    • Scarring is a very rare possible side effect following Pulsed Dye laser treatment.
      • It is more likely to occur if secondary infection or trauma occurs.
      • Scars following this type of therapy when they do occur are usually not thick, burn like scars but rather slightly depressed areas of light skin.
      • Treated areas may result in increased or decreased color in the skin.
        • This is usually temporary, but may last 6-12 months, especially when it is on the legs.
        • Laser treatment may activate the cold sore virus.  Tell your doctor if you have a history of cold sores.

    How do I make an appointment?

    • A consultation is required prior to treatment and treatment is not generally performed on the initial visit.
    • Please make an appointment, specifying that it is for “laser therapy.” Laser treatments are usually performed on Monday and Wednesday mornings.
    • Please be sure we have your correct cell phone number so we can contact you if there is an issue with the laser prior to your treatment.

    How much does Laser Therapy cost?

    An estimate of the cost will be made by your physician at the time of the initial consultation. Most often, treatments with this laser are considered cosmetic, or not medically necessary. Therefore insurance is not billed and payment will be required at the time of service.  However, laser treatment of warts and port wine stains are usually covered by insurance.

    How do I get ready for Laser Treatment?

    • It is absolutely critical that you do not have a tan or using “fake tan” lotion when you come for laser treatment because this may result in complications such as blistering and scarring.
    • If a tan is noted when you come for your treatment, your appointment may need to be rescheduled.
    • Do not apply makeup, sunscreen or other types of lotion on the day of treatment.
    • Stop the following medications to avoid the risk of bruising:
      • Aspirin- stop for 1 week prior to treatment.
      • Advil- stop for 2 days before treatment
      • Alcohol-stop for 2 days before treatment
      • Supplements [Vitamin E, Ginseng, ginger, gingko, garlic, feverfew, or Echinacea]- stop for 2 weeks before treatment
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