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ND-YAG LASER

When to Consider ND-YAG LASER

If you only have a few brown or red spots and want to have it treated once, then the Nd: YAG may be the treatment for you. The Nd: YAG Laser has been the true workhouse for removing well-defined vascular and pigmented lesions for over a decade. If you have more diffuse hyperpigmentation, than the IPL may be a better option.

Considerations

ND: YAG Laser Non-Surgical-Photos

*individual results may vary

Considerations

Pros:

  • Usually only requires one treatment. A single treatment usually removes more than 75-100% of an individual brown spot.
  • Targets defined hemangiomas/angiomas, vascular lesions, small spider veins, and a variety of dark skin spots
  • Stimulates new collagen growth to improve skin tone
  • Minimal risk

Cons:

  • Tanned or darker skin limits effectiveness
  • Not a good treatment option for diffuse hyperpigmentation
  • Mild irritation to the skin that usually lasts a few days to a week

Detailed Procedural Info

How is a ND: YAG procedure performed?

An ND: YAG laser produces an energy wavelength that is capable of penetrating deep into the skin and is easily absorbed by hemoglobin and melanin. This energy becomes heat in the tissue causing coagulation of the vascular lesions and breaks down the melanin, with minimal damage to surrounding skin.

What does ND: YAG feel like?

The laser energy feels like many tiny hot dots on your skin. Afterwards, there is some mild irritation to the skin which usually lasts a few days to a week.

Preparing for Your Procedure

Prior to your procedure, please do the following:
  • Moisturize regularly, avoid exposure to the sun, and wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
  • Stop smoking for at least 6 weeks prior, to encourage better healing
  • Avoid Aspirin, and other medication or herbal supplements that encourage bleeding
  • Do not use Retin-A or other skin creams that affect skin sensitivity
  • Let us know if you are taking antibiotics as some increase skin sensitivity
  • If you have been diagnosed with the herpes virus, you may want to take antiviral medication to reduce the chance of an outbreak on the day of the procedure
  • No matter what procedure is performed, hydration is very important, both before and afterwards.

Come to your procedure with perfectly clean skin. About fifteen minutes prior to procedure, we apply numbing cream. After removing the cream, you will wear eye protection to shield your eyes from the light. Gel is applied to the skin and the Nd: YAG is pressed into the skin, releasing energy which targets the pigmentation. Most treatments take 20-30 minutes to complete. Ice can be applied afterwards to sooth the treated areas.

Aftercare and Recovery

Redness, swelling and itching immediately after the procedure may last a few days after treatment. The treated lesions will turn darker brown and form a light crust. This generally clears in one week. Wash the area with a mild soap and pat dry, apply Aquaphor Healing Ointment multiple times daily until healing is complete. It may take two weeks or more for the treated area to heal. Although you can use makeup over the treated areas, they may be difficult to cover with makeup.

How Long Will the Results Last?

Most pigmented lesions are treated in a single sessions. Small red veins are usually removed in one to three sessions. Several sessions may be necessary to remove bigger veins and spider veins.

Associated Costs

Insurance does not cover the cost of Nd: YAG treatments in our office. The cost of Nd: YAG treatments are dependent on the areas being treated and the number of lesions to be treated. A complementary consultation will allow us to evaluate and create a treatment program that will meet your needs.

Limitations and Risks

  • Most patients experience redness, swelling, and itching immediately after the procedure that may last a few days after treatment.
  • Crusting over the treated areas is expected, however in rare circumstances skin pigment may absorb too much energy and blistering can occur. This will resolve. Contact our office with any concerns so we can evaluate your symptoms.
  • Changes in skin pigmentation can happen when the pigment cells are damaged. This can cause hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation. Generally, lasers work better on people with lighter skin tones rather than darker.
  • It is very uncommon for some patients to experience bruising, slight bleeding, or scarring.
  • Those patients who are living with herpes simplex virus may find that the Nd: YAG can trigger an outbreak. Antiviral medication used prior to the treatment can reduce the chance of this occurring.

We are here to answer any questions that you might have. Please give us a call to see if Nd: YAG is right for you.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow American College of Surgeons