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Special Topics
November 17, 2008

Lasers and Optical Technologies in Facial Plastic Surgery

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (Mr Wu and Dr Wong), Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Dr Wong), and Department of Biomedical Engineering (Dr Wong), University of California, Irvine.

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2008;10(6):381-390. doi:10.1001/archfaci.10.6.381

Lasers and optical technologies play a significant role in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. The unique ability of optical technologies to target specific structures and layers in tissues to effect chemical, mechanical, or thermal changes makes them a powerful tool in cutaneous rejuvenation, hair removal, fat removal, and treatment of vascular lesions such as port-wine stains, among many other procedures. With the development of adjunct techniques such as epidermal cooling, lasers and optical technologies have become more versatile and safe. The constant improvement of existing applications and the emergence of novel applications such as photodynamic therapy, nanoparticles, spectroscopy, and noninvasive imaging continue to revolutionize aesthetic medicine by offering a minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgery. In the future, therapies will be based on individualized, maximum, safe radiant exposure to deliver optimal dosimetry. Lasers and optical technologies are headed toward safer, easier, more quantifiable, and more individualized therapy.