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Lasers Surg Med ; 53(1): 115-118, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060012


INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic requires us all to re-evaluate aesthetic practices to ensure optimal patient safety during elective procedures. Specifically, energy-based devices and lasers require special consideration, as they may emit plume which has been shown to contain tissue debris and aerosolized biological materials. Prior studies have shown transmission of viruses and bacteria via plume (i.e., HIV and papillomavirus). The purpose of this study was to evaluate plume characteristics of the Er:YAG resurfacing laser (Sciton; Palo Alto, CA) and compare it to the Morpheus8 fractional radiofrequency device (InMode; Lake Forest, CA). METHODS: Five patients who underwent aesthetic resurfacing and/or skin tightening of the face and neck were treated with the Er:YAG (Sciton Joule, Palo Alto, CA) and/or fractional radiofrequency (Morpheus8, Lake Forest, CA) between April 1 and May 11, 2020. Data collected included patient demographics, past medical history, treatment parameters, adverse events, particle counter data, as well as high magnification video equiptment. Patients were evaluated during treatment with a calibrated particle meter (PCE; Jupiter, FL). The particle meter was used at a consistent focal distance (6-12 inches) to sample the surrounding environment during treatment at 2.83 L/min to a counting efficiency of 50% at 0.3 µm and 100% at >0.45 µm. Recordings were obtained with and without a smoke evacuator. RESULTS: Of our cohort (n = 5), average age was 58 years old (STD ±7.2). Average Fitzpatrick type was between 2 and 3. Two patients received Er:YAG fractional resurfacing in addition to fractional radiofrequency during the same treatment session. Two patients had fractional radiofrequency only, and one patient had laser treatment with the Er:YAG only. There were no adverse events recorded. The particle counter demonstrated ambient baseline particles/second (pps) at 8 (STD ±6). During fractional radiofrequency treatment at 1-mm depth, the mean recording was 8 pps (STD ±8). At the more superficial depth of 0.5 mm, recordings showed 10 pps (STD ±6). The Er:YAG laser resurfacing laser had mean readings of 44 pps (STD ±11). When the particle sizes were broken down by size, the fractional radiofrequency device had overall smaller particle sizes with a count of 251 for 0.3 µm (STD ±147) compared with Er:YAG laser with a count of 112 for 0.3 µm (STD ±84). The fractional radiofrequency did not appear to emit particles >5 µm throughout the treatment, however, the Er:YAG laser consistently recorded majority of particles in the range of 5-10 µm. The addition of the smoke evacuator demonstrated a 50% reduction in both particles per second recorded as well as all particle sizes. CONCLUSION: Re-evaluation of the plume effect from aesthetic devices has become important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further studies are required to characterize viability of COVID-19 viability and transmissibility in plume specimens. Based on this pilot study, we recommend that devices that generate little to no plume such as fractional radiofrequency devices be used in Phase I reopening of practice while devices that generate a visible plume such as Er:YAG laser resurfacing devices be avoided and only used with appropriate personal protective equipment in addition to a smoke evacuator in Phase IV reopening.

COVID-19/transmission , Cosmetic Techniques/instrumentation , Laser Therapy/instrumentation , Lasers, Solid-State/therapeutic use , Radiofrequency Ablation/instrumentation , Skin Aging/radiation effects , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Face , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neck , Particle Size , Pilot Projects , Risk Assessment
Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med ; 2020 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-182066


This Project AesCert™ Guidance Supplement ("Guidance Supplement") was developed in partnership with a multi-disciplinary panel of board-certified physician and doctoral experts in the fields of Infectious Disease, Immunology, Public Health Policy, Dermatology, Facial Plastic Surgery and Plastic Surgery. The Guidance Supplement is intended to provide aesthetic medicine physicians and their staffs with a practical guide to safety considerations to support clinic preparedness for patients seeking non-surgical aesthetic treatments and procedures following the return-to-work phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, once such activity is permitted by applicable law. Many federal, state and local governmental authorities, public health agencies and professional medical societies have promulgated COVID-19 orders and advisories applicable to health care practitioners. The Guidance Supplement is intended to provide aesthetic physicians and their staffs with an additional set of practical considerations for delivering aesthetic care safely and generally conducting business responsibly in the new world of COVID-19. Aesthetic providers will face new and unique challenges as government stay-at-home orders and related commercial limitations are eased, and the U.S. economy reopens and healthcare systems transition from providing only urgent and other essential treatment to resuming routine care and elective procedures and services. The medical aesthetic specialties will therefore wish to resume practice in order to ensure high quality, expert care is available, and importantly to help promote patients' positive self-image and sense of well-being following a lengthy and stressful period of quarantine. In a number of areas, this Guidance Supplement exceeds traditional aesthetic office safety precautions, recognizing reduced tolerance in an elective treatment environment for any risk associated with COVID-19's highly variable presentation and unpredictable course. The disease has placed a disturbing number of young, otherwise healthy patients in extremis with severe respiratory and renal failure, stroke, pericarditis, neurologic deficits and other suddenly life-threatening complications, in addition to its pernicious effects on those with pre-existing morbidities and advanced age. Accordingly, the Guidance Supplement seeks to establish an elevated safety profile for providing patient care while reducing, to the greatest extent reasonably possible, the risk of infectious processes to both patients and providers. While the Guidance Supplement cannot foreclose the risk of infection, nor serve to establish or modify any standards of care, it does offer actionable risk-mitigation considerations for general office comportment and for certain non-surgical procedures typically performed in aesthetic medical settings. It is axiomatic that all such considerations are necessarily subject to the ultimate judgment of each individual healthcare professional based on patient situation, procedure details, office environment, staffing constraints, equipment and testing availability, and local legal status and public health conditions.