Sponsored by Lasering USA
As a gynecologist with many years of experience, I have heard thousands of women complaining about looseness of their vagina after vaginal childbirth. “Sex is just not the same,” is a common complaint.
Vaginal rejuvenation essentially attempts to restructure and tighten the vagina (and vulva) to function more like it did when the patient was younger. This can be performed surgically in many women who have severe separation of the levator muscles. However, such surgeries do have downtime and can be associated with pain, post-op scarring and constrictions.
Thus, there has been a need to develop technologies that can provide vaginal tightening without surgery. Two main types are available: ablative and non-ablative.
Ablative treatment is generally produced by the CO2 laser. The laser produces thousands of tiny holes within the mucosa of the vagina resulting in vaginal tightening. Although effective, there have been many concerns regarding the use of ablative CO2 lasers.
First, the large number of small holes they produce within the vaginal walls may allow bacteria, viruses or fungus to enter the submucosa with increased risk of infection. Bloody discharge may occur, with up to five to seven days of downtime. Second, the plume from an ablative laser procedure may contain HPV virus that can infect the clinician when breathed in. Third, vaginal pain and burns leading to scarring may result. And finally, some women develop long-term dyspareunia post-procedure.
A different option is a non-ablative laser. Two types exist: radiofrequency (RF) and non-ablative CO2. I have both types in my office. Both are based on increasing the internal temperature underneath the vaginal mucosa, which stimulates collagen formation (neocollagenesis) with resultant thickening of vaginal tissue and tightening of the vagina. It increases nerve sensitivity via neurogenesis, increases vascularity, restores proper pH balance and increases moisture.
We use the V-Lase non-ablative CO laser 2 distributed in the U.S. by Lasering USA (San Ramon, Calif.). It uses a large novel collimated 10 mm spot with a fluence well below that required for tissue ablation. The result is effective and safe tissue tightening performed in a comfortable setting with minimal to no patient discomfort.
V-Lase effectively enhances nerve stimulation of the vagina and the vulvar areas. This results in increased patient satisfaction. With the V-Lase procedure, we see almost 95% patient satisfaction.
Comparatively, RF takes much longer to produce the requisite heat during the procedure and is less effective for long-term satisfactory results compared to V-Lase treatments. A V-Lase treatment usually takes 10 to 15 minutes while RF takes twice as long to achieve similar effectiveness. Essentially, V-Lase can raise the internal temperature of the inner vaginal tissue quite rapidly, reaching temperatures well in excess of 86° C within milliseconds.
In addition, there is minimal to no discomfort with the V-Lase treatments. Another advantage is there are no disposables with the V-Lase, unlike all RF (and a few laser) devices.
We also noticed an increased patient desire for repeat treatments using the V-Lase, again suggesting better patient satisfaction with this device.
About the authors
Robert L. True, MD
Dr. True has been practicing in the Dallas / Fort Worth area for 30 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Idaho State University, a Medical Doctorate Degree from the University of Nevada, a residency certificate from the Tulane division of Charity Hospital in New Orleans, as well as training for cosmetic surgery and anti-aging through several organizations. He has practiced as a registered pharmacist, an emergency room physician, an obstetrician/gynecologist, a cosmetic surgeon and an anti-aging specialist. He is board certified in cosmetic surgery and gynecology, with certification in anti-of the TrueMD Wellness Program to improve the health and quality of life of patients.