Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the skin. A rotary dermabrader is used to mechanically remove the outermost layer of the skin. A raw surface is created which must be cared for in the post-operative period with topical ointment. Areas of scarring (e.g., from acne) or fine lines can be addressed with dermabrasion. Not all people are candidates for dermabrasion because of skin type or pigmentation. Dermabrasion as an option for you will be discussed during your consultation. Dermabrasion is frequently combined with other procedures in a single operative session.
During your personalized consultation, Dr. Barlow will discuss your skin concerns with you. Together, you will formulate a surgical plan. Photographs will be taken as they facilitate the surgical planning of your procedure. Of course, you will have ample time to have your questions answered.
During your second consultation, any questions you may still have will be answered and your plan reviewed. Your post-operative course will be emphasized as you are prepared for surgery.
The next office visit will be your pre-operative appointment. This will occur approximately two weeks prior to your surgery. Your current health status will be reviewed, Dr. Barlow will complete a pre-operative physical examination and you will receive prescriptions. You will also have the risk, benefits and alternatives to your surgery explained to you. Your post-operative appointment schedule will be given to you at the time of your pre-operative visit. You will then register at the hospital.
Surgery is performed as a day procedure at CHRISTUS St. John Hospital under general anesthesia. Dermabrasion can take a few minutes or an hour, depending on the amount of skin to be treated. You will awaken with a dressing over the treated area(s). Following the procedure, will be taken to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit to begin the recovery process. After continuing to recover in the Outpatient Surgery Unit, you will be discharged home. You will need to have a responsible individual drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours following surgery.
Although all surgical procedures have discomfort, most patients find that this procedure is very well tolerated. You will be provided with a prescription for pain medication for your comfort. Your first visit is usually one week following your surgery. You will be seen weekly for the first month, biweekly for the next month and then at four and six months. After that, you will be seen each year for an annual review of your condition.
The treated areas re-epithelialize within days of surgery. Until then, some oozing or crusting is normal. A variable amount of swelling can be expected. Swelling typically improves daily but will likely be noticeable to you for several weeks. As with all invasive procedures, your scars will take time to fade. Scars are not typically considered fully mature for over a year.
You will be restricted from exercising for a month following your surgery. This will allow your body time to recover from the surgery and avoid any unnecessarily prolonged swelling. During the early recovery period, increased activity will often lead to increased swelling.
Dr. Barlow looks forward to meeting with you and discussing your options. Call or e-mail today to schedule your appointment!