Dr Downey; Dermatologist
www.advancedskincare.co.nz

Laser Surgery

Skin laser surgery is the removal of lesions, including some skin cancers, by a laser light machine. In this practice we use a Carbon Dioxide Ultra Pulse Laser. This is a state of the art machine, which can also be used for smoothing down skin and for the eradication of facial fine lines and wrinkles. The laser provides very precise control by producing an invisible light beam which is absorbed by the skin; the laser beam then vaporises the skin, layer by layer, to the depth of the lesion.

The laser generally eliminates the need for sutures and consequently patients are able to bath or shower without harming the wound site. The wound will be covered by a dressing and checked at regular intervals by the nurse at the surgery. Should the dressing come off before your next scheduled appointment it would be advisable to use a little vaseline or an antibiotic cream/ointment, as prescribed by the Doctor, then cover the lesion with a band-aid or dressing. Most patients will experience no discomfort after the procedure but two Paracetamol may be taken 4-6 hourly if required. There should be minimal or no bleeding from the site, and this is one of the advantages of laser surgery. If however you are concerned about any aspect of your surgery or convalescence please phone the rooms, during office hours, for advice.

Healing takes approximately 10-14 days although occasionally it may be a little longer. As the skin heals, over a period of 6-8 weeks, it has a pink/red tinge and appropriate foundation can be used to cover this up. There are post-laser surgery skin preparations available, please ask about these.

Although non-sedating medication is generally used we recommend that you have someone drive you home but this may not always be necessary.