I’ve Had “CO2″ Ablative Laser Treatment. Here’s My Experience!!
Mallappa, preparing the numbing cream prior to my CO2 Laser treatment
Today I am detailing my personal experience of receiving “UltraPulse CO2″ laser treatment. I had this done in a Private Cosmetic Surgery called, “Kliniken”, which is situated in Harrogate, Yorkshire. The laser treatment was administered by their incredibly talented clinician, Mr Mallappa Kolar.
In this post, I will tell you about:
First and Second Consultations;
The Co2 Laser;
The Treatment; and
If you are a regular to my blog, you will know that I’ve always relied on good skin care, clean eating and exercise to keep my skin looking healthy, and, so far, it has worked. I have also used Retin-A (Tretinoin) for several years which has helped improve my skin’s condition. But, over the years, like most young girls of my generation, I have suffered sun damage due to lying in the sun for hours until frazzled and burnt, using oil or no protection at all….eeek!!!
Prepping for the “CO2″ laser treatment
During my initial consultation with Mallappa, he explained that the age spots and lines I have acquired are a consequence of the damage done to my skin, early on, and throughout my lifetime. I am hoping this laser treatment will repair some of that damage. Nowadays, I have become a true ‘skin minimalist,’ wearing the lightest makeup possible. I love that “bare skin” natural look. I find heavy makeup ageing……And, at 61 (62 in a few weeks), I want my mature skin to look the best it possibly can.
Up until now, I haven’t had any cosmetic enhancements, including Botox or fillers. It just hasn’t been on my radar. However, I have been interested in the benefits of cosmetic laser procedures for quite a while and I have slowly built up my knowledge. I have read about their advantages and how they can enhance the texture of ageing skin. Jennifer Aniston is one of many who are fans of this treatment – preferring to slow the ageing clock down instead of an abrupt “stop”!
Jennifer Anniston Looking Fabulous (2022)
Laser treatments are becoming part of the beauty regimes of many people who want to look naturally good without any signs of obvious work done.
This private practice is set in the prettiest of rural locations. On arrival, I was greeted warmly by Madelaine and Davide who work within the practice. I was then offered refreshments in their inviting upmarket Reception area. Mallappa, who is a consultant plastic surgeon, runs the practice alongside his wife, Karuna, and business partner, Dr Senthil Kumar.
Kliniken is split into two parts. It is not a stark surgical place. The main Reception area has been tastefully decorated and furnished in a chic way with spectacular artwork adorning the walls, alongside an inviting comfortable seating area. Then, there is the “surgery hub” with its high-tech apparatus alongside two private recovery rooms to give patients the ultimate comfort, following any procedures.
My initial meeting with Mallappa was via a Skype call where he introduced me to his lovely wife, Karuna. Following this, I made two trips to Kliniken where I had two consultations prior to my treatment. So, by the time I had my treatment on the third visit, I was extremely comfortable with everyone.
Mallappa is a very clever, knowledgeable surgeon. I felt extremely comfortable and confident in his ability from the very beginning. An extra bonus is his gentle, easy-going manner and good sense of humour! I felt so comfortable in his company. It’s very important to feel like this when undergoing any medical procedure of any kind. While my consultations and treatment were being played out, Mallappa and Karuna welcomed a baby daughter into the world, which was so lovely, too. My husband (Patrick) also accompanied me on these trips. He also felt in awe of Mallappa’s knowledge and expertise. Mallappa has over twenty years’ experience in plastic surgery and is also the UK’s leading surgeon in pioneering work on Stem Cells, which is aiding people who are suffering from osteoarthritis and joint pain.
First and Second Consultations
Choosing to have any surgical/cosmetic treatments can be daunting. So, it’s vital to understand everything about what you are having done, to make “doubly” sure it is the right option for you and that your suitability for the treatment is spot on.
In my first meeting with Mallappa, we discussed what knowledge I had of laser treatment. Mallappa then gave me great intricate details of the “UltraPulse CO2 Laser, itself. He guided me through the procedure and what I could expect – before, during and after.
Before the CO2 Laser treatment
I was then shown slides of people (case studies) who had benefited from this treatment, not only cosmetically but also for acne, burns and scarring of all magnitudes. The slides also showed people 24-to-48-hours post treatment, which can be a little alarming. But, I had done my research so I knew what to expect. I was also shown the outcomes which were remarkable.
Some “before” treatment Photographs
Then, Mallappa performed a physical examination of my facial skin and neck to determine suitability and to see which areas need more attention than others.
On my second consultation, Mallappa performed a patch test of the laser behind my ear (in case of any allergic reactions) and I was given some pre-treatment medications. They included antibiotics (to stop any infection) and a course of anti-viral medication as I have a history of cold sores (this was to avoid any flare ups). I was to begin taking these the day before my treatment.
I also completed a pre-op health questionnaire, advising of any medication I am currently taking as well as any allergies I have.
I was asked to avoid sun exposure prior to my treatment (for 4 weeks). Mallappa also ran through the process of what would happen on the day of the procedure so that I was fully prepared.
The CO2 Laser
The “Lumenis UltraPulse” is the world’s most powerful CO2 laser, tailored to each individual patient’s specific needs. The UltraPulse laser is designed to resurface the skin and reverse the effects of the environment, time, and natural ageing.
Its unrivalled deep reach is engineered to offer hope and provide life-changing results in the treatment of thick scars and lesions.” Kliniken Website
This laser is used to treat both superficial and deep skin conditions, safely. There are various treatment modes that the machine uses. The settings used for my treatment dramatically improves skin texture and tone, removing fine lines and brown (age) spots. Only one treatment is necessary.
The Lumenis UltraPulse is an ablative laser. There is a difference between ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers work by removing the outermost layer of skin. Following this treatment, the skin gradually produces new skin cells and fresh collagen strands. The collagen production continues for months and years, following this treatment, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as well as improving skin tone.
By contrast, non-ablative lasers apply stress by heating cells in deeper dermal layers, warming them up to the point where they begin to produce new collagen. Therefore, as you can imagine, ablative lasers are by far more invasive and effective than non-ablative lasers.
When the treatment begins, the CO2 laser is moved around the face, targeting precise areas. As this is happening, the microscopic wounding of the skin tells your body to start the healing process by producing higher levels of collagen and regenerating new, healthy skin cells. The deeper layers of skin that have been damaged by loss of collagen are targeted by the laser. The heat from the laser creates enough disruption for the skin to replace all those layers of skin, but, to do that, it produces new collagen.
As this healing process takes place, newly regenerated skin cells slowly replace those damaged layers of skin with healthier ones. The foundation of these layers of skin is made strong, again, removing those weakened areas and firming up the anchor for your face. The results can include:
reduced or eliminated fine to moderate lines and wrinkles;
even skin tone and texture;
a brighter, clearer complexion;
smaller pores; and
Getting prepared for the cO2 Laser treatment
On my arrival, Madelaine and Davide warmly greeted us. Pat, my husband, accompanied me and was my chauffeur for the day. Pat was then settled into Reception with a coffee, and I was asked to change into a pre-op gown. When I was set to go, I was ushered into the Treatment Room where Mallappa administered the local anaesthetic cream to my face and neck (the numbing process). This takes around 45 minutes to take effect. The procedure itself can take at least one to two hours.
As this preparation was taking place, we were all talking about this and that, which helped me relax. I think I may have had some butterflies at this point, mixed with excitement. I knew the first forty-eight hours were going to be rough, so I kept focusing on the fact that the healing process is quick. Plus, I was also looking forward to my skin going through this transitional period, producing more collagen.
When the treatment began, Mallappa slowly worked around my face, paying extra attention to the deeper wrinkles on my cheeks, around my eyes, mouth, and jowl area. I was feeling the laser more around my eyes, nose, and mouth. So, Mallappa would “come and go, back and forth” to these sensitive areas, which worked for me.
In some areas of my face and neck, I didn’t feel the laser at all. When I did feel it, I can liken it to a sharp zap! A slight prickling sensation or the flick of an elastic band. All the while, Davide was blowing cool air onto my face, which was very soothing. After a little while, the areas already done began to feel hot, very much like a sunburn. The important thing about having this laser treatment done is, it is over quickly, or, it seemed to be quick! So, I wasn’t uncomfortable for very long – a few seconds, here and there. It took around one and a half hours in total.
Afterwards, I rested comfortably for around fifteen minutes while Davide blew the cold air onto my face and neck. I then had petroleum jelly (Vaseline) applied to the treated area. This keeps the areas moist and protects the skin.
At this point, my face was feeling hot, very much like sunburn so I took two paracetamols, which cooled me down a little.
Before leaving, I received my post-treatment routine/instructions for the next few weeks. They had to be strictly followed to achieve the best results. Mallappa also recommended trying to sleep with a slight incline, using my pillows, as this would help with the swelling. I made a follow up appointment for a weeks’ time to make sure everything was healing as it should be.
Photographs at the end of my treatment and Day 1 following the CO2 laser treatment
If you have any questions you would like to ask please let me know in the comments, below. Also, if you have any enquiries and you would like to talk to Mallappa and his team regarding any of the treatments on offer at Kliniken, follow this link
I have no training in anything medical and do not pretend to be an expert. My goal in this post is to explain and share with you my journey and truth throughout the above procedure. Any descriptions of medical equipment and technicalities are in “layman’s terms.” Hopefully, my post will help you to understand more about laser treatments and what to expect, afterwards.
In return for this procedure, I am writing my own personal experience of the “Laser treatment”. I did pay for my medication used prior and following this procedure. All opinions and content are 100% honest and my own. Mallappa was keen for me to tell you my experience (warts and all). I hope you enjoy it, and you find it helpful. Alison x