As a cosmetic surgery practice, we treat Spokane-area patients for a variety of concerns, and they all eventually relate to and affect their overall happiness. We are in the business of helping our patients feel happy. Many of the laser procedures we perform, whether for body sculpting, skin changes associated with sun damage or aging, or feminine rejuvenation, Spokane patients are empowered to improve their appearance as they see fit.
Those improvements assist with overall improvements in self-image, confidence, and mood improvement. This translates to enhanced motivation in all aspects of life, namely work, fitness and relationships, as well as generally making healthy choices. Laser treatments are very effective tools to combat the natural aging process of our tissues by stimulating the healing and rejuvenating processes.
What’s feminine rejuvenation, anyway?
So what is the story with feminine rejuvenation? Is that even a thing? How does it fit in with a cosmetic laser practice? Is this plastic surgery or something else? Before doing some research, we were unaware of the frequency and severity of some of the problems that feminine rejuvenation treatments can correct.
Those problems face more than 50% of women over their lifetimes.
Urinary incontinence and vaginal atrophy, loss of tone and painful intercourse were not even on our radar until we began asking our female patients if they are experiencing, or know someone who is experiencing these problems.
When we asked our patients, the results were enlightening.
“I have to cross my legs before I sneeze.”
“I wear a pad when I run, just in case.”
“Sex isn’t as fun as it used to be, because of dryness — and it hurts.”
“I can’t jump on the trampoline with my kids.”
“Sex just isn’t as satisfying as when I was younger.”
Those were just a few of the many problems our patients admitted — with shame and embarrassment. And that’s the part we really took issue with. There’s no reason for women to live with these problems, but many women just adopt an attitude of acceptance. “I guess this is the way life will be from now on” is a common approach to the problem, because there’s not enough information about treatment options, and the surgical interventions that are available may sound too risky or too invasive.
Women who have given birth and women who are getting older and are perimenopausal can develop changes in their genitourinary anatomy called vaginal relaxation syndrome (VRA), vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), and/or genitourinary syndromes of menopause. Women who have had a hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries or cancer patients who are taking estrogen blocking agents are also at risk for developing symptoms. VVA is common and not often reported. The symptoms include irritation, dryness, soreness, painful intercourse and urinary urgency, urinary frequency and urges, and stress incontinence.
Laser treatment can make a big difference, in about 20 minutes.
Until now, treatment for VVA included the use of topical estrogen creams, Kegel exercises, surgical options, and systemic hormones. Each of these has varied effectiveness and compliance has not always been easy with these regimens, and side effects of estrogens have been known to increase the risk of certain types of cancer and increase urinary incontinence. These issues often cause women to discontinue the use of estrogens.
A new laser treatment of these issues has become quite popular in the last 2 years for treating women with symptoms of VVA . Fractionated CO2 lasers are highly effective at revitalizing skin. These lasers have been used in our practice for more than 6 years with wonderful results.
Using this tried and true technology for symptoms of VVA — with no downtime and no significant side effects — seemed like a great fit for us. We chose the CO2RE Intima laser by Syneron-Candela. The versatility of the fractional CO2RE system enables precise, effective and simultaneous treatment of the skin’s surface in the middle and deep dermal levels.
The concept for treatment of vulvovaginal conditions is ablation and coagulation of the vaginal and vulvar tissue. The CO2 laser creates a wound response that results in renewed formation of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin of the vagina (which has atrophied). The muscle tone is also restored. The blood supply to the vaginal lining is also improved with this revitalization process.
The procedure is essentially painless, and it takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Three treatments, spaced one month apart, are recommended for best results. We also recommend a once-per-year maintenance treatment. So far, we have 100% patient satisfaction for this new procedure — and that fits in nicely with our #1 goal: helping make our patients feel happy.