One of the most common questions that other physicians ask me is “how do I incorporate lasers into my surgical practice?”
I am often called by a plastic surgeon, specializing in cosmetic surgery, who wants to know how he or she can begin to use lasers in their practice. It can seem exciting yet daunting to bring in a new procedure because of the level of knowledge and training required to properly treat patients and produce excellent results. And many times, physicians have limited time for further training once a busy practice has been established. In addition, lasers are expensive and most surgeons are not used to having to purchase expensive equipment beyond the initial investment in supplies to start a surgical practice. That being said, the laser procedures can help surgeons offer a much wider range of treatments that will benefit both the patient who has had surgery and the one who is not yet ready for surgery. I tell physicians and patients that laser procedures can be “insurance for your surgical procedure” in many ways. Laser procedures can help add to the result of surgical tightening by treating dyschromia, discoloration, texture, pore size, vascular lesions, and providing overall better skin health and appearance. One can pull the skin tighter with surgery, but the skin often needs surface treatment with laser procedures. Don’t just focus on achieving tighter skin, focus on overall better looking skin also. This may sound like a sales pitch, but you will hear me often say, “don’t put cheap tires on a Rolls Royce!” Surgical results will greatly benefit from maintenance laser procedures and good medical skincare. Finally, a laser procedure can often help a plastic surgeon treat a patient who does not really need surgery yet, so that the patient does not have to be referred elsewhere.
My advice always starts with telling fellow surgeons that