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How Much Does Fraxel Laser Cost?

Fraxel laser treatments are very popular due to the glitzy marketing by the manufacturer. Patients satisfaction with results and physicians opinion on efficacy and their return on investment are mixed. Very mixed.

Here is a good source of opinions shared by actual patients who have had Fraxel:

Interactive map of Fraxel costs


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  • Filed under: LT | fractional
  • Fraxel Treatment: Before and After Pictures

    Fraxel treatment was designed to provide profound rejuvenation results with minimum pain and downtime for the patient. Results and opinions are still mixed on all counts.

    We recommend the following growing before and after picture collections:

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  • Filed under: LT | fractional
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery is a professional medical society whose members are dermatologic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, general surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, plastic surgeons, or ocular plastic surgeons — all of whom specialize in cosmetic surgery.

    The AACS has completed its annual Procedural Survey and the most notable finding is the shift towards non-invasive laser treatments.

    Over the past three years, cosmetic surgeons have seen a significant increase in both males (456%) and females (215%) electing to have laser resurfacing. Laser resurfacing is performed with a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser that delivers short bursts of high-energy laser light to minimize wrinkles and lines on the face. In addition, laser hair removal has jumped to the overall number two most performed non-invasive cosmetic procedure.

    “Cosmetic surgery technology is advancing at the speed of light,” states AACS President Patrick McMenamin, MD. “As we learn more about the cosmetic uses for lasers, the more patients benefit from effective results and quicker recovery time. It is an exciting time for both cosmetic surgery patients and physicians.”

    Although the economy is struggling, these laser procedures seem to be recession resistant. For instance, laser resurfacing has seen an approximate $450 decline in price since 2002. “As long as these procedures are effective and affordable, their demand will continue to remain steady.”

    Other notable findings from the survey include:

    In 2008, cosmetic surgeons have seen a 29% increase in their female clientele. Despite the economy, women are continuing to invest in their appearances. In addition, cosmetic surgeons have seen a 2% decline male patients proving that when times are tough, cosmetic surgery is the one of the first things men delete from their wish lists.
    The top three most performed invasive cosmetic procedures in 2008 include: liposuction, blepharoplasty and breast augmentation; while the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures were Botox(R) injections, laser hair removal and hyaluronic acid.

    The 2008 Procedural Data is based on a survey of U.S.-based AACS members completed in December 2008. The entire report, conducted by RH Research, is available by contacting the Academy.

    Related Documents

    Syneron Medical Ltd. develops, markets and sells elos combined-energy medical aesthetic devices. At last week’s American Academy of Dermatology 67th Annual Meeting in San Francisco Syneron introduced eMatrix skin resurfacing device for darker skin types. It is the only fractional device capable of safely treating patients with skin of color (skin types V and VI on the Fitzpatrick skin classification scale). The eMatrix opens the in-demand fractional ablative treatment market to a larger patient base.

    Named first prize winner in the device category for its industrial design by the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor, the stylish and functional eMatrix utilizes Matrix RF technology, the world’s first RF-only fractional technology for ablation and skin resurfacing. Clinical studies currently in process using eMatrix’s Matrix RF technology reveal the unique ability to treat skin of color due to the RF-based energy applied to the skin. Launched in December 2008, results of Matrix RF treatments with the eMatrix device include skin rejuvenation, wrinkle reduction and skin tightening.

    Fractional treatments are one of the fastest-growing areas of aesthetic procedures. In 2008 alone, the volume of fractional skin rejuvenation procedures was estimated to have grown 200 percent from 2007, according to a May 2008 study by Medical Insights. By 2010, the number of treatments is anticipated to double the number of procedures carried out in 2008.

    LaserOffers.com

    Since we do provide in-depth coverage for non-laser technologies, we published the news about eMatrix fractional ablative RF device to help our readers form a better and more complete understanding of the current aesthetic market trends.

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  • Filed under: Device Review, LT | fractional
  • Fractional skin resurfacing technologies like Fraxel, Lumenis ActiveFX, DeepFX, Palomar Starlux 1540 and Starlux 2940, and are quickly becoming familiar to many cosmetic, dermatology, plastic surgery and medical spa practices.

    The history of laser skin resurfacing goes back to 1995, when the first full face CO2 laser resurfacing for wrinkle removal was performed. The procedure was a revolution in facial laser surgery. A flock of lasers were developed primarily for plastic surgeons. The procedure was done under general anesthesia and created a burn wound, which took 7-10 months to heal. The hypo pigmentation that followed for about another 10-12 months was normal and fairly well accepted for a few years due to lack of other options.

    The next advance in laser skin resurfacing was the development of Erbium (Er:YAG) lasers. They became available to plastic and dermatology surgeons around the year 2000. These were, and continue to be very effective for the resurfacing. Erbium lasers are a lot safer and cause a significantly reduced downtime for the patient. At about the same time fewer patients wanted to have a full face resurfaced as a nicely done areas around the eyes and mouth created a very comparable overall aesthetic result with even faster healing and shorter downtime. A mild laser peel will give most patients an excellent result with about one week of “take it easy” time.

    Fractional laserswere introduced to the aesthetic market in 2002-2003 with a big bang and glitzy and very effective promotions by Reliant, which pioneered the fractional photothermolysis. The idea was to bring about a laser that would be non-ablative,  but as effective as the ablative lasers (the CO2 and Erbium) before it.

    Fraxel laser by Reliant was the first non-ablative fractional laser for the cosmetic medical market and it gave birth to the first generation of non-ablative fractional lasers. While there were a lot of hype about these non-ablative fractional lasers, the clinical fact is that they had categorically fallen short of the goal of ‘profound results with zero downtime.’ As we have seen with these devices, patients had to tolerate painful treatment in multiple sessions while still enduring disruption of the epidermis and thus multiple episodes of downtime, before the final outcome, which also failed to meet expectations. Fraxel has been upgraded and improved by a number of other competing fractional laser skin resurfacing technologies such as the Lumenis DeepFX and ActiveFX, Palomar Starlux 1540, and Starlux 2940. The newest fractional skin resurfacing technologies employ the use of erbium lasers and may be non-ablative (Fraxel re:fine, Fraxel re:store, Palomar Starlux 1540) or ablative (the newest generation of fractional lasers). The laser beam is ‘fractionated’ into tiny micro-lasers, treating only a small portion of the skin (MTZ – microthermal zone, or sometimes called microscopic treatment zones) and leaving surrounding skin tissue undamaged. The goal is to speed up the healing.   These MTZs cause enough injury to the dermis to trigger new collagen production and stimulate the replacement of collagen damaged by aging and sun exposure. This production of new collagen ‘fills in’ or ‘plumps’ the underlying dermal tissues and smoothes wrinkles. The surrounding, untreated skin speeds the healing process to a mere 3-4 days. Since most of the pigment cells remain intact, hypo pigmentation is effectively prevented. The Fraxel re:fine, Fraxel re:store and Palomar Starlux 1540 are non-ablative lasers that don’t actually vaporize or remove the skin. Instead, the laser instantly heats MTZs, causes the thermal damage, which stimulates new collagen growth during the healing process. Results for wrinkle removal and skin tightening are less dramatic than with any ablative lasers, but some patients may appreciate the benefit of reduced recovery time and fewer side effects.

    Fractional Ablative Laser Resurfacing

    The newest generation of fractional lasers (Starlux 2940, Lumenis ActiveFX and DeepFx systems and Fraxel re:pair) use the ablative skin resurfacing, i.e. CO2 10600 nm or Erbium 2940 nm. They are designed to offer the best of both worlds: fractional treatments with less downtime and reduced complications and ablative laser skin resurfacing for better wrinkle removal and facial rejuvenation. These lasers actually remove tissue in the micro treatment zones, providing much better cosmetic result for patients with heavily wrinkled and sun damaged skin. These lasers provide “rapid remodeling from the inside out”: the fractional treatment results in both rapid reepitheliazation of the epidermis as well as collagen remodeling to depths of 1.6 mm. The skin heals much faster than if the entire area were treated at once, because the treatment uses the body’s natural healing process to create new, healthy tissue that replaces skin imperfections – such as wrinkles, melasma, dyschromia, actinic ketatosis, pigmented lesions, acne scars and surgical scars.

    Actifirm Post Laser Gel combines skin-soothers like Aloe and Chamomile with a Mushroom-derived, exfoliating enzyme, Mucor Miehi Extract, to inhibit pain and inflammation, while helping renew your skin to its freshest form. You’ll be looking your best in no time.


    More skin care recommendations by LaserOffers.com

    Fractional treatment works on and off the face, including delicate areas like the neck, chest and hands. This is a huge advantage over previous generations of ablative lasers, which required a truly skilled hand to work on these areas.

    There is some increase in recovery time:  clinical downtime of 2-3 days (reepitheliazation of epidermis) and 5-7 days of social downtime (time for patients to resume regular activities). Thus the overall downtime is comparable to the downtime after a traditional non-fractional erbium ablative laser treatment.

    LaserOffers.com comment

    Leaving the laser skin resurfacing by pulsed non-fractionated CO2 lasers in the past (where it belongs now), most experts agree that the newest generation of fractional lasers, which uses ablative technologies (Erbium or CO2), have approached the clinical efficacy achieved by traditional Erbium resurfacing. The pain for the patient, downtime and potential side effects are comparable. It is up to the physician to define what patient will benefit more from the subtle difference between these lasers. In time when value and ROI are particularly important, the cost of acquisition of either type of the ablative laser will be the best helpers to the physician.

    Fraxel Re:pair versus Face Lift

    Last week, Solta Medical presented a study by Steve Weiner, MD at the annual American Academy for Dermatology meeting. The presentation sparked a few discussions among doctors who have had some experience with the “new Fraxel”.

    Fraxel Re:pair is a “non-invasive” laser treatment used for the reduction of fine to moderate wrinkles on the face, neck and chest. “As a plastic surgeon I’ve found this to be the best treatment on the market to date and I don’t anticipate anything will replace it for many years,” said Weiner. Some may argue that Dr. Weiner’s opinion is biased since he did the study on the Solta’s buck and featured his patients at several nationwide webinars promoting Solta’s lasers. However, Weiner’s research clearly shows the advantages of his technique, which are very valuable for many physicians.

    How does Fraxel Re:pair compare to a traditional face lift?

    A face-lift is a surgical procedure under general anaesthesia performed by a plastic surgeon, often in a specialized outpatient center or a hospital. The Fraxel Re:pair is considered to be a non-invasive treatment with the use of CO2 laser technology, which can be done by physicians of different specialties and in a doctor’s office. Results are expected to last up to 10 years. For most patients only one treatment is required, for deeper wrinkles two may be necessary, according to Weiner.

    The laser effectively removes portions the epidermis and heats the dermis to tighten the skin and help with collagen elasticity, referred to as resurfacing. As with other laser treatment the new skin is exposed and wound care is necessary. This is the part where one may question the definition of a non-invasive treatment. After the Fraxel treatment the patient goes home with dressings on the face. The dressings need to be changed every 3-4 hours and you have to stay indoors for 5-7 days. Most patients would arguably call this pretty invasive.

    The Fraxel Re:pair seems to work very well on mildly deep wrinkles, acne scars and brown spots, caused by the sun exposure. With some extra skill and experiens a doctor can work with Asians and Hispanics. Smokers and individuals with heavily tanned, pigmented or very dark skin types are not good candidates for this treatment.

    The cost for Fraxel Re:pair ranges from $1,300 to $6,300, approximately 1/3 the cost for a surgical face lift which can cost more than $10,000.

    LaserOffers comment

    Our medical panel agrees that leaving the issue of cost differential aside, for the vast majority of patients the CO2 fractional treatment with Fraxel will work just as well, if not better than the surgical face-lift. The additional benefit is that the laser actually improves the skin texture, whereas the lift merely stretches the skin.

    Actifirm Post Laser Gel combines skin-soothers like Aloe and Chamomile with a Mushroom-derived, exfoliating enzyme, Mucor Miehi Extract, to inhibit pain and inflammation, while helping renew your skin to its freshest form. You’ll be looking your best in no time.


    More skin care recommendations by LaserOffers.com

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  • Filed under: Laser Clinics, LT | fractional, New Lasers, Research
  • In addition to the LightSheer(R) Duet(TM) Diode Laser System, Lumenis(R) rolled out another laser at the 2009 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

    The system is called UltraPulse 4x for Fractional C02 Rejuvenation, which will significantly reduce treatment times to provide cost-effective-high value cosmetic options during challenging economic times.

    “The cosmetic industry is certainly feeling the effects of the economy and the resulting decline in elective, fee-per-service procedures. We have focused our development efforts on time and cost saving innovations that will provide physicians with innovative and competitive solutions that can sustain, differentiate and grow their business during challenging times”, said Mr. Robert Mann, General Manager of Lumenis Global Aesthetics and Dermatology.

    The UltraPulse CO2 Laser System delivers ActiveFX, DeepFX and TotalFX fractional resurfacing in a single treatment with only a single pass. The new UltraPulse 4X upgrade now covers twice the treatment area and twice the speed. These changes significantly improve practitioner and patient acceptance of fractional resurfacing, as well as increase the revenue potential for physician practices and clinics.

    The UltraPulse 4X has a micro-second pulse, which allows efficient ablation, lower downtime and more comfortable treatment. The UltraPulse 4X now covers twice the surface area per scan, expanding from 7x7mm to 10x10mm and delivers twice the pulse speed, from 300Hz to 600Hz.

    LaserOffers.com comment

    Fast is good when patients, for whom time is money, are lining up at the door of the physician’s office. What’s the rush in a slow economy? These days, esthetic practices are looking for patients who are looking for jobs. Bothe have time to spare. Affordability of a laser procedure is key, but it is unlikely that with the high cost device physicians will be able to drop their fees.

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