Is laser skin resurfacing performed with anesthesia and what kind?
There are many different kinds of lasers and most Co2 lasers which create a significant burn are usually done under either IV sedation or general anesthesia because they can be quite painful and somewhat traumatic in their use. However, Erbium lasers and lighter lasers are often done with IV sedation or under local anesthesia without any significant pain or any significant anesthesia risk. Some lasers can also be used, such as Co2 Fraxel and Erbium Fraxel, with placement of a strong topical anesthetic such as 4% xylocaine and so long as this is left on for a reasonable length of time, such as 45 minutes before the surgery, you can get significant numbing from this also. In addition, there are a number of different lasers that actually shoot out a freezing cream at the time of the laser pulse so that the laser itself creates its own anesthesia.
Posted by Richard Galitz, MD, FACS