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News & Press: Annual Meeting

Laser Resurfacing Rejuvenates Vagina, Alleviates Symptoms of Aging, Suggests Study of 300 Women

Saturday, February 11, 2017  
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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE FROM THE AACS 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting

SAN DIEGO – The same laser technology used for facial peels can rejuvenate the vagina, including reversing some of the symptoms of menopause, according to a study of 300 women being presented here today at the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Annual Scientific Meeting.

The fractional C02 laser is used on the face to erase fine lines and scars and even out pigmentation by stimulating the formation of collagen, the body’s connective protein. A modified version of the laser used in the vagina can ease dryness, looseness – or laxity – and mild urinary incontinence, according to researchers. 

“It’s gratifying that something that was developed for aesthetics actually offers therapeutic medical benefits,” said Marco A. Pelosi III, MD, co-founder of the International Society of Cosmetogynecology, Bayonne, N.J. “The aging process can lead to the thinning of the vaginal walls and sex can become uncomfortable. The C02 laser can help turn back the clock by rejuvenating collagen.”

Inserted into the vagina, the laser is turned and pointed at different areas of the vaginal wall to create a well-controlled microscopic ablation that stimulates the body to heal itself, improving blood flow and creating collagen, said Dr. Pelosi. Collagen attracts water, leading to greater lubrication, he noted.

Dr. Pelosi is reporting on 300 pre- and post-menopausal women consecutively treated with laser vaginal resurfacing. Of the 300, 198 suffered from vaginal dryness, 76 from mild vaginal laxity and 26 from mild urinary incontinence as their primary symptoms. Each woman received three treatments four to six weeks apart. Different parts of the vagina were targeted during the treatments – one-third of it at each session. 

All patients completed a questionnaire six weeks after the final treatment asking them why they had the procedure, if they experienced discomfort or side effects and if they felt it was effective. They rated their results on a scale of 1 (no improvement) to 5 (maximum improvement). After treatment, improvement in vaginal dryness scored 4.1 out of 5 points, mild laxity 3.6 points and incontinence 2.9 points. Overall, 123 patients (41 percent) reported vaginal discharge for slightly more than two days. No patients reported fever, bleeding or infection.

“The most consistently reported positive benefit is alleviation of dryness and improvement of lubrication,” said Dr. Pelosi. “Patients had a positive experience without surgery, drugs, hormones or downtime and no real side effects.”

Laser resurfacing is not usually covered by insurance. It costs about $2,700 for three sessions.

About the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
Founded in 1985, the mission of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery is to advance the specialty of cosmetic surgery and quality patient care. AACS is the leader in continuing medical education for all specialties of cosmetic surgery, providing fellowship training programs, live surgery workshops, medical symposiums and an Annual Scientific Meeting. Most members of the AACS are board‐certified cosmetic surgeons, dermatological surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, head and neck surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, obstetric‐gynecologic surgeons, general surgeons and ophthalmic surgeons – all of whom specialize in cosmetic surgery. AACS is the organization that represents all cosmetic surgeons in the American Medical Association through its seat in the AMA House of Delegates.