Laser resurfacing is a painful procedure, and is therefore usually carried out under general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with sedation. However, the small but significant risk of adverse events from either of these methods has resulted in an effort to develop other methods of controlling the pain associated with the use of lasers.
This trial describes of the use of a cooling device (the CoolAnalgesia© device) with a carbon dioxide laser. The only anaesthetic used was a eutectic mixture of lidocaine anaesthetic (EMLA) applied as a cream to the face at least 60 min prior to the procedure. Twenty consecutive patients attending two laser centres for facial resurfacing were recruited. Each patient was asked to assess the level of pain on a visual analogue scale from 1–10 every 2 min during lasering. Only one of the patients had a mean pain score for the duration of the treatment of above five, four patients recorded a pain score of above five at some stage during their treatment, but none requested that the treatment be stopped. It would appear that the CoolAnalgesia© device in combination with EMLA cream provides a level of anaesthesia sufficient to allow laser resurfacing without the use of local anaesthetic injections or intra-venous agents.
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Published online: June 15, 2006
Accepted: April 4, 2006
Received: February 25, 2006
© 2006 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.