Laser Skin Resurfacing in Minneapolis for Younger Looking Skin

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Technology That Gets to the Real You

Over the past two decades, laser resurfacing has become the most precise and effective technology available for treatment of facial lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and other surface skin damage. Dermabrasion and chemical peeling can also treat fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and pigmentation irregularities, but have some limitations that make them appropriate only in select circumstances.

At Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, we own and utilize most of these options, and until recently, included third-generation dual-wavelength (Erbium:YAG/CO2) laser resurfacing–available in very few places throughout the country. Unfortunately, our Derma-K ablative resurfacing laser is no longer repairable, and all of our spare parts are used up! For now, resurfacing options are found at our skin and body care clinic MAASC. Some medi-spas or physician offices where surgical procedures are not available or severely limited (Dermatology or Family Practice offices, for example) offer or encourage certain procedures or treatments designed to utilize the laser or technology they own or “just purchased.” This “I’ve got a new hammer, so everything must be a nail” approach tends to give you less-ideal results than may have been possible with the best surgery, skin peel, or laser procedure optimized for your specific needs. At Minneapolis Plastic Surgery and Minneapolis Anti-Aging and Skin Clinic, formerly Carillon Clinic, we own 7 lasers and 2 IPL (BBL) machines, so we can use what’s best, not “what we have” or the promotional procedure du jour! Your individualized treatment will focus on removing unwanted elements from your skin and emphasizing what you like, ensuring you leave our office with renewed confidence and often major improvement in your skin that cannot be obtained elsewhere. (text continues below photos)

Lasers in Minneapolis

Using several of the best and proven laser techniques and equipment (seven on-site lasers and two IPL — intense pulsed light — machines), the plastic surgeons at Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD. and specialists at MAASC are able to reduce or remove wrinkles, scars, birthmarks, age spots, freckles, superficial blood vessels, unwanted hair, and sun damage, in addition to the other types of aesthetic plastic surgery they routinely perform.

Laser hair removal and other skin and body care services are available at our anti-aging and skin care clinic, Minneapolis Anti-Aging & Skin Clinic (MAASC), formerly Carillon Clinic, Ltd., and new laser techniques are being evaluated and perfected on an ongoing basis at our surgical facility. Our plastic surgeons provide superficial or deeper laser skin resurfacing, dermabrasion, chemical peels, spider vein sclerotherapy, and facial vein removal by both laser and sclerotherapy at our plastic surgery practice; other less invasive skin treatments, such as microdermabrasion, microlaser peels, and chemical peels, are available at MAASC.

Laser technology is utilized when it provides a distinct advantage over “standard” or more traditional treatment choices, or when it is the best choice for a particular need. Unfortunately, some clinics or physicians promote “laser this” or “laser that” as “more advanced,” the “latest and greatest,” “less scarring,” or simply as a marketing tool to imply being up-to-date or technologically superior!

At Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD., laser technology has been utilized for over 30 years whenever it has allowed treatments or techniques that truly represent a quantum leap forward in capability, results, or reduction of complications over older methods. Dr. Richard H. Tholen has been a local, national, and international speaker, instructor, and physician educator in advanced laser techniques at multiple wavelengths and power densities, and has made over 100 presentations regarding uses of lasers in cutaneous surgery.

Laser skin resurfacing is performed to remove and improve facial wrinkles and sun damage, as well as to minimize acne scarring, and expression lines. About two decades ago, physicians employed first-generation carbon dioxide laser skin resurfacing machines for wrinkle removal, but found that, in addition to longer healing times and a prolonged period of redness, this laser produced hypopigmentation (lightening of skin color) or a visible line of demarcation between treated and untreated areas. Although wrinkles were indeed dramatically improved, these other side effects have reduced the initial enthusiasm this first-generation CO2 laser caused. Even second-generation Erbium:YAG lasers were found to have limitations that reduced acceptance of this technology. For over two decades, Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD. has been involved with teaching about and evaluating laser technology as it arrives from the laboratory to the clinical setting.

After extensive use and testing, MPS obtained the most advanced third-generation combination Erbium:YAG/CO2 (dual wavelength treatment with each laser pulse) laser for facial skin resurfacing. This laser was in use in our practice since 1998 and had proven to combine the advantages of both of the previous generations of laser technology while eliminating the negatives.

Unfortunately, as of 2023, our Derma-K ablative resurfacing laser is presently no longer repairable, and all of our spare parts are used up!

At the dawn of laser resurfacing popularity, many plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and other laser practitioners were so eager to get on the laser resurfacing “bandwagon” in the early 1990’s that they purchased the first or second-generation lasers, only to later find out the limitations and problems associated with these single wavelength machines.  Oh, and they were expensive, so by the time the  third-generation laser that actually worked the best (without the hypopigmentation or inadequate treatment responses of the first and second-generation lasers) was available for physician purchase, there were very few “takers.” Those of us involved in the teaching of laser technology recognized the breakthrough technology this third-generation laser possessed, and were fortunate enough to have purchased one when they first became available. This laser was the dual-wavelength Derma-K™ laser, obtained for state-of-the-art laser skin resurfacing without the drawbacks of the first two laser generations.

To date, no other manufacturer has developed and sold a dual-wavelength Erbium:YAG/CO2 laser; some years ago MPS purchased a second Derma-K™ laser for parts; no new machines are presently available, and the few lasers still operating in the country are/were closely-kept and rigorously-maintained machines. As noted above, our Derma-K ablative resurfacing laser is no longer repairable, and all of our spare parts are used up!  Options for skin-surface wrinkle removal via laser still exist at our skin and body care clinic MAASC, across the hall from MPS in Golden Valley.

Laser Information in Minneapolis

Because of the high demand for free consultations with our plastic surgeons, our staff will ask for a credit card number in order to schedule a consultation; there is no charge whatsoever for appointments that are kept–you will be charged $100 only if you fail to keep a scheduled appointment, or fail to cancel at least 48 hours in advance of your appointment time–for Monday appointments, you must cancel no later than noon on the previous Thursday; for Tuesday appointments, you must cancel by noon on the previous Friday.

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