Patients who are scheduled for a face lift often ask if they can have laser skin resurfacing at the same time. There is an article to be published shortly which looks at the results (complications) in a such a group of surgical patients .The patients underwent erbium laser resurfacing. They had an overall complication rate of 3.8% and, thus, the authors conclude that their data supports simultaneously doing a face lift and laser resurfacing.

Personally, I have some hesitancy concurring with their conclusion. My reasons are as follows:

1- The device used was an erbium laser. In reality, one will achieve better results with the fractional CO2 laser but, the CO2 laser is more powerful and more likely to add to the complications when performed at the same time as the face lift.
2- Patients that were treated in the peri-oral region only were also included in the study. The perioral region is not undermined during a face lift. There is no reason, therefore, to assume that this group of patients would have a problem undergoing laser resurfacing simultaneously with the face lift.

In my practice, patients desiring to have a laser skin resurfacing in conjunction with the face lift will be treated during the second post-operative visit (Day 10 or 11 after the face lift). The resurfaced skin does not complicate the initial care of the face lift and the more effective fractional carbon dioxide laser can be utilized.