Plastic Surgery vs Cosmetic Laser Treatment

Posted on in MedSpa by Zac

Which treatments a patient opts to undergo is ultimately up to them, but as their trusted medical professional, your expertise will be an invaluable resource as they weigh their options. However, when patients come to you hoping to change something about their appearance, there are a multitude of directions you could lead them in. Serums, creams, and lifestyle changes can have modest effects, but if the patient is looking for more dramatic results, the best option is likely plastic surgery or treatment with a cosmetic laser. The question is: how do they choose? Below, we’ll walk you through an overview of plastic surgery and laser treatments, then explain the factors to consider when helping patients come to a decision.

Cosmetic Laser Treatments

Lasers use a highly precise light energy to resurface the skin by targeting damaged skin cells without impacting healthy cells. This stimulates the body’s natural healing processes and increases collagen production, causing firmer, tighter skin. While the results of these procedures can be quite impressive, aesthetic lasers don’t alter the structure or shape of the face – treatment with a cosmetic laser is only skin deep. Depending on the laser used and the treatment the patient receives, results can be almost immediate or they can be more gradual, showing up over the course of a few weeks or months. 

Treatments with cosmetic lasers are highly customizable. There is a wide range of lasers practitioners could use depending on what the patient is hoping to achieve, and many can even be used in conjunction with one another. Patients can also customize the level of change they see. For subtle results, the patient may only opt to receive one or two sessions, but the treatments can also be repeated until they see more dramatic improvements. 

The conditions a cosmetic laser can treat are vast. With these devices, practitioners can address:

  • skin tone and texture
  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • acne scars
  • sun-damaged skin
  • unwanted hair
  • unwanted tattoos
  • birthmarks
  • uneven skin tone
  • spider veins

Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is highly effective at creating dramatic, long-lasting results, and it’s a great avenue to making large structural changes to the face – which is advantageous for age-related concerns that go more than skin deep. As people get older, their connective tissue, muscle, and fat begin losing tone, causing them to drop, which could lead the skin around the eyelids, jowls, chin, throat, upper arms, and stomach to sag. In these cases, where the root of the problem is more than skin-deep, surgery may be necessary to remove excess skin or to lift and reposition the underlying tissue.

How To Choose Between Laser Treatments And Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic laser treatments and plastic surgery are both viable options for refreshing someone’s appearance, but one may be a better fit for a particular patient depending on a handful of factors. When helping them make the decision, you’ll want to look at:

The Underlying Concern

When the main concern a patient is hoping to address is discoloration, age spots, or visible veins, laser treatments are likely going to be the better approach. While surgery can produce quite drastic results, it doesn’t do much for skin tone and texture. However, for structural changes such as lifting tissue, changing the shape of the patient’s nose, or removing excess skin, surgery is often the way to go, as lasers only address issues with the skin. 

Both lasers and plastic surgery are good options for dealing with fine lines and wrinkles. Lasers will offer more modest results but a much easier process, while surgery will have a more dramatic effect, but at a higher price (in terms of finances, pain, downtime, etc.).  

The Level Of Discomfort They’re Willing To Withstand

Cosmetic laser treatments aren’t invasive, while plastic surgery is, and because of that, patients will experience different levels of discomfort depending on which they get. While laser treatments aren’t necessarily pleasant, most people describe them as somewhere between getting licked by a cat’s scratchy tongue and having a rubber band snapped on them. Plastic surgery, on the other hand, is an operation, and the recovery process can be quite painful. 

Their Budget

Plastic surgery is much more invasive, and therefore more involved, than cosmetic laser procedures. Because of this, it will cost the patient more; they have to pay for the surgeon’s time, anesthesia, and sometimes a short hospital stay. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a facelift is $8,005 – not including anesthesia, operating room facilities, etc. – while the average cost of laser skin resurfacing is $2,509 for ablative and $1,445 for non-ablative procedures. 

How Much Downtime They Can Afford To Take

Most laser treatments nowadays require little to no downtime, often allowing patients to resume normal activities the same day (some people even get laser procedures done during their lunch break and head back to the office afterward). This will depend on whether the patient opts for an ablative or nonablative procedure, as ablative lasers sometimes leave the skin red and scabby for two to three weeks (this doesn’t mean that the patient can’t resume normal activities, just that their skin won’t look it’s best until that time period is up). Downtime for plastic surgery is usually lengthier and does require the patient to take some time away from their normal activities. The average downtime for a facelift, for example, is approximately one month

Find A Laser You Can Trust With Laser Resellers

If you’re ready to start offering laser skin resurfacing at your practice, you’ll first need to invest in an aesthetic laser device. The problem is, new equipment can be expensive, and many laser reselling companies can’t be trusted. Laser Resellers is the rare exception. Every device you see advertised on our website is guaranteed to be in stock so you don’t have to worry about a bait and switch. We also service every machine we sell to guarantee it’s in perfect condition when it arrives, and we even offer a 30-day warranty. So, are you ready to invest in a laser you can trust? Contact Laser Resellers today!