BACKGROUND: Laser resurfacing with simultaneous rhytidectomy has been used to augment aesthetic results and decrease overall patient recuperative time, yet presents a potential dual insult to the microvasculature supply of facial skin flaps. This study describes the authors' experience with rhytidectomy and simultaneous laser resurfacing.
METHODS: Between May of 1999 and January of 2013, 85 face lifts with concomitant erbium laser resurfacing were reviewed retrospectively. Seven procedures were excluded for incomplete charting. Patient demographics, treatment zone, concomitant procedures, and secondary/tertiary face lifts were analyzed for associations with postoperative complications attributable to laser resurfacing.
RESULTS: No complications were reported in the perioral resurfacing group. There was one instance of delayed wound healing and prolonged erythema in the full face group, and one instance of moderate hyperpigmentation in the central face group. No instances of hypopigmentation or flap necrosis attributable to laser resurfacing were noted. The overall complication rate was 3.8 percent. There was a statistically significant difference when comparing the number of complications between the facial laser resurfacing zones (p = 0.037). When analyzing zone of laser resurfacing as an independent risk factor for complications, no significant association was derived, but full face zone resurfacing approached statistical significance (p = 0.063).
CONCLUSIONS: Although a significant difference in the number of complications between treatment groups existed, the authors were not able to definitively attribute this solely to the extent of laser resurfacing. Simultaneous laser resurfacing and rhytidectomy can be performed safely in select patients using ablative mode only over the undermined flap.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.
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