Cutting-Edge Laser Surgery Comes to the Regional Ambulatory Surgery Center

Jeffrey Rice, DMD, PC, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, is now offering outpatient laser resurfacing and facial cosmetic surgical procedures at the Regional Ambulatory Surgery Center, an affiliate of the Elk Regional Health System.

“I’m very excited to offer laser resurfacing and excision for patients at the Surgery Center,” Dr. Rice said. The laser opens up more options and choices for patients who previously could not have undergone treatment for facial lesions or skin cancer because they take blood-thinning medications.”

“We are pleased to work with Dr. Rice to offer laser resurfacing at the Surgery Center,” said Kathy Wortman, RN, BSN, the Administrator and Clinical Director at the Regional Ambulatory Surgery Center. “Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing is now considered the gold standard in facial skin rejuvenation and the excision of lesions. We are proud to offer yet another cutting-edge surgical procedure to patients in the region.”

Laser resurfacing is an elective procedure that removes wrinkles and improves the quality of a patient’s skin. It is ideal for treating patients who suffer from acne scarring or sun-damaged skin, or who have precancerous lesions.

In years past, cosmetic surgeons would have used procedures such as chemical peeling, dermabrasion, scar revision, and silicone injection to treat these conditions and diminish the appearance of scars and wrinkles. But advances in laser technology over the last 10 years have allowed surgeons like Dr. Rice to perform the procedures using a special carbon dioxide laser.

Carbon dioxide lasers can be used to treat different benign and malignant skin conditions. They use very short pulsed light energy or continuous light beams to precisely remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage to the surrounding structures. This enables Dr. Rice to use the laser to treat oral and skin lesions. The laser cauterizes wounds to prevent bleeding, which means patients who take anticoagulants can undergo surgery for facial lesions without stopping their medication.

“That’s very important for my patients,” Dr. Rice said. “There are so many people who have had heart stents or other cardiac conditions who cannot stop taking their anticoagulant. Previously, these patients would have been unable to undergo surgery. The laser has opened up a whole new world for these patients.”

The laser also seals the lymph drains, reducing the chance that any cancerous tumors or lesions will be able to spread.

Surgery with a carbon dioxide laser offers other benefits to the patient. Because the laser seals nerve endings and blood vessels, patients typically experience reduced post-operative pain and swelling, minimal bleeding, and a faster recovery time. Patients also experience a lower risk of infection because the laser beam operates at high temperatures that sterilize the affected area as diseased tissue is removed.

For more information about the new procedures, call the Regional Ambulatory Surgery Center at (814) 781-6565.

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