MGH dermatologists first in New England
to offer new laser treatment
Laser treats wrinkles and
sun damage with fewer sessions, shorter recovery time
BOSTON - May 8, 2008 - Dermatologists at the Massachusetts
General Hospital (MGH) are using a powerful new type of laser to
evaporate patients' wrinkles and sun damage with fewer treatments.
Called Fraxel re:pair, this novel technology has roots
in the Boston area. The concept was originally developed at the
MGH and has led to a whole class of lasers in use across the country,
including the Fraxel re:store and Fraxel re:pair.
The MGH Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Center is the first dermatology
practice in New England to offer this newest technology.
This particular laser targets microscopic pockets of skin with pixilated
pulses of laser energy, ablating or evaporating tiny channels of
sun-damaged, wrinkled or acne-scarred skin. During each treatment,
about 50 to 75 percent of the skin remains untouched by the laser.
The surrounding untouched skin is then able to promote healing by
generating collagen, thus rejuvenating and reducing the look of
wrinkles and sun-damage to the entire area. The aggressive treatment
of the area with ablation produces more dramatic results in just
one treatment, compared to four or five with traditional laser treatments.
"I always tell my patients that sunblock is the best way to
prevent wrinkles. But for people with sun-damaged skin, this laser
is a great way to set back their clock," says Mathew Avram,
MD, JD, director of the Dermatology
Laser and Cosmetic Center at MGH.
Unlike the lengthy healing process of ablative resurfacing, which
damages an entire layer of skin, this treatment has proven in clinical
studies to be safer and better tolerated. Physicians at the MGH
can numb the area of skin prior to treatment, minimizing discomfort
during the treatment. While there is swelling and some bleeding
afterwards, most patients can begin covering treated skin with makeup
about 4 days after the treatment.
Traditional Fractional Photothermolysis - such as the Fraxel
re:store - has been in use at the Dermatology Laser and
Cosmetic Center for the past three and one-half years. It requires
four to five treatments, versus a single session with Fraxel
re:pair. The concept for the laser was developed by researchers
at the Wellman
Center for Photomedicine at the MGH. Reliant Technologies supported
that research and has licensed the technology to manufacture the
"In my mind, this treatment is one of the major innovations
in the laser world over the past four years," says Avram. "The
MGH Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Center is again on the forefront
of providing the newest and safest technologies for our patients."
Founded in 1811, the MGH is the third oldest general hospital in
the United States and the oldest and largest in New England. The
900-bed medical center offers sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic
care in virtually every specialty and subspecialty of medicine and
surgery. Each year the MGH admits more than 46,000 inpatients and
handles nearly 1.5 million outpatient visits at its main campus
and health centers. Its Emergency Department records nearly 80,000
visits annually. The surgical staff performs more than 35,000 operations
and the MGH Vincent Obstetrics Service delivers more than 3,500
babies each year. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research
program in the country, with an annual research budget of more than
$500 million. It is the oldest and largest teaching hospital of
Harvard Medical School, where nearly all MGH staff physicians serve
on the faculty. The MGH was the first in the state to achieve Magnet
status for nursing, and it is consistently ranked among the nation's
top hospitals by US News and World Report..
Media Contacts: Emily
Parker , MGH Public Affairs
Physician Referral Service: 1-800-388-4644
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