Rolling Meadows, Ill. — A new study shows that 60 percent of patients undergoing minimally invasive or non-ablative laser procedures say they are satisfied with overall improvements from the treatment.
According to the study, which appears in Dermatologic Surgery, the peer-review journal of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), non-ablative laser treatments — as compared with invasive laser treatment — are becoming more popular with patients because they significantly decrease risks for adverse events and downtime, produce gradual improvement instead of sudden effects and have a lower incidence of scarring and pigmentary changes. Ablative procedures, on the other hand, can induce adverse effects that include infection, bleeding, pigmentary changes and permanent scarring.
The study notes that acne-scarring patients reported higher satisfaction levels with the treatments than photo-aging subjects, which could be attributed to the latter group’s higher expectations.
The patient-satisfaction study comes in the wake of research, published in the August 2005 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, that shows patients treated with less invasive or non-ablative lasers had significant improvement of acne scars with fewer of the kinds of side effects common with ablative procedures.
Gary D. Monheit, M.D., president of the Rolling Hills-based ASDS, says this study and previous research by dermasurgeons validates the safety and efficacy of non-ablative laser systems for treating acne scars and photoaging, but notes that though these procedures are becoming increasingly popular with patients, expectations for their outcomes must be realistic.