James A. Rieger MD -Board Certified Plastic Surgeon -Wichita,Hutchinson,Salina,Newton,Garden City,Dodge City Kansas
316-652-9333


DOT Laser Skin Resurfacing Informed Consent                                    

           

This informed-consent document has been prepared to help inform you about laser procedure , its risks, as well as alternative treatment(s). It is important that you read this information carefully and completely.  Please initial each page, indicating that you have read the page and sign the consent for surgery as proposed by us and agreed upon by you.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Conditions such as wrinkles, sun affected skin may be treated with the laser.  Multiple laser skin resurfacing treatments are generally recommended, approximately three to five in the first year and yearly in the future. Skin lesions, skin cancers or diseases should be treated by your dermatologist and not with this laser procedure. This laser resurfacing treatment is purely cosmetic. 

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS

Alternative forms of treatment include not undergoing the proposed cosmetic laser procedures.  Other forms of cosmetic skin treatment (chemical peel) may be substituted. Risks and potential complications are associated with alternative forms of treatment that involve skin laser (s) or surgical procedures.

RISKS OF LASER PROCEDURES

Every procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand these risks and the possible complications associated with them.  In addition, every procedure has limitations.   An individual’s choice to undergo a procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit.  Although the majority of patients do not experience these complications, you should discuss each of them with your plastic surgeon to make sure you understand all possible consequences of cosmetic laser procedures.

Scarring- Although good wound healing after a procedure is expected, abnormal scars may occur within the skin and deeper tissues.  In rare cases, keloid scars may result.  Scars may be unattractive and of different color than the surrounding skin tone.  Scar appearance may also vary within the same scar.  Scars may be asymmetrical (appear different on the right and left side of the body).   In some cases scars may require surgical revision or treatment.

Burns- Laser energy can produce burns.  Adjacent structures including the eyes may be injured or permanently damaged by the laser beam.  Burns are rare, yet represent the effect of heat produced within the tissues by laser energy.  Additional treatment may be necessary to treat laser burns.

Infection- Although infection following laser skin procedures is unusual, bacterial, fungal, and viral infections can occur.  Herpes simplex virus infections around the mouth can occur following a laser treatment.  This applies to both individuals with a history of Herpes simplex virus infections and individuals with no known history of Herpes simplex virus infections in the mouth area.  Specific medications must be prescribed and taken both prior to and following the laser treatment procedure in order to suppress an infection from this virus.  Should an infection occur, additional treatment including antibiotics, hospitalization, or additional surgery may be necessary. 

Visible Skin Patterns- Laser  procedures may produce visible patterns within the skin.  The occurrence of this is not predictable.

Accutane (Isotretinoin)- Accutane is a prescription medication used to treat certain skin diseases.  This drug may impair the ability of skin to heal following treatments or surgery for a variable amount of time even after the patient has ceased taking it.  Individuals who have taken this drug are advised to allow their skin adequate time to recover from Accutane before undergoing laser treatment procedures.

Fire- Inflammable agents, surgical drapes and tubing, hair, and clothing may be ignited by laser energy.  Laser energy used in the presence of supplemental oxygen increases the potential hazard of fire. 

Laser Smoke (Plume)- Laser smoke is noxious to those who come in contact with it.  This smoke may represent a possible biohazard.

Bleeding- Bleeding is rare following laser skin  procedures.  Hematoma can occur at any time following injury.  Should bleeding occur, additional treatment may be necessary. Avoid aspirin and motrin 2weeks before and 2 weeks after your laser procedure.

Skin Tissue Pathology- Laser energy directed at skin lesions may potentially vaporize the lesion.  Laboratory examination of the tissue specimen may not be possible. Therefore a diagnosis of cancer may be missed.

Distortion of Anatomic Features- Laser procedures can produce distortion of the appearance of the eyelids, mouth, and other visible anatomic landmarks.  The occurrence of this is not predictable.  Should this occur, additional treatment including surgery may be necessary. 

Skin Discoloration / Swelling- Some swelling normally occurs following  laser procedures.  The skin in or near the surgical site can appear either lighter or darker than surrounding skin.  Although uncommon, swelling and skin discoloration may persist for long periods and, in rare situations, may be permanent. 

Damaged Skin- Skin that has been previously treated with chemical peels or dermabrasion, or damaged by burns, electrolysis (hair removal treatments), or radiation therapy may heal abnormally or slowly following treatment by lasers or other surgical techniques.  The occurrence of this is not predictable.  Additional treatment may be necessary. 

Skin Contour Irregularities- Contour irregularities and depressions may occur after surgery.  Visible and palpable wrinkling of skin can occur.  Residual skin irregularities are always a possibility and may require additional surgery.  This may improve with time, or it can be surgically corrected.

Pain- You will experience pain after your laser treatment.  Pain of varying intensity and duration may occur and persist after surgery.  Very infrequently, chronic pain may occur after laser  procedures. 

Allergic Reactions- In rare cases, local allergies to tape, topical preparations have been reported.

Lack of Permanent Results- Laser treatments may not completely improve or prevent future skin disorders, lesions, or wrinkles.  No technique can reverse the signs of skin aging.  Additional surgical procedures may be necessary to further tighten loose skin.

Topical / Oral Anesthesia - Application of a topical anesthesia and oral narcotics and valium may involve risk. I understand that all forms of anesthesia involve risk and the possibility of complications, injury, and sometimes death.

Delayed Healing- Wound disruption or delayed wound healing is possible.  Some areas of the skin may not heal normally and may take a long time to heal.  Skin healing may result in thin, easily injured skin.  This is different from the normal redness in skin after a laser procedure.  Some areas of skin may die, requiring frequent dressing changes or further surgery to remove the non-healed tissue.  Smokers have a greater risk of skin loss and wound healing complications. 

Change in Skin Sensation- It is common to experience diminished (or loss) of skin sensation in areas that have had laser procedures.  Diminished (or complete loss of skin sensation) may not totally resolve. 

Damage to Deeper Structures- There is the potential for injury to deeper structures including nerves, blood vessels, muscles. Injury to deeper structures may be temporary or permanent.

Unsatisfactory Result- Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee or warranty expressed or implied, on the results that may be obtained.  There is the possibility of a poor result from laser resurfacing laser procedures .  This would include risks such as unacceptable visible deformities, skin slough, loss of function, poor healing, wound disruption, permanent color changes in the skin and loss of sensation.  It may be necessary to perform additional procedures to attempt to improve your results. 

Long-Term Results- Subsequent alterations in appearance may occur as the result of aging, weight loss or gain, sun exposure, pregnancy, menopause, or other circumstances not related to laser procedures.  Laser procedures do not arrest the aging process or produce permanent tightening of the skin. Future surgery or other treatments may be necessary to maintain the results of laser procedures.

Skin Cancer / Skin Disorders- Laser skin resurfacing procedures does not offer protection or treatment against skin cancer or early skin cancers. This laser treatment does not treat skin lesions, and skin cancers or pre malignant skin cancers. This is a completely cosmetic procedure. You should routinely  follow a dermatologist and your family doctor on a regular yearly  or semiannual basis for routine skin surveillance. You should immediately make a dermatology appointment if any skin abnormality, growth or lesion arises at anytime in the future.  If you currently have any suspicious skin lesions or growths this laser procedure may prevent or delay detection of a skin cancer like malignant melanoma or squamous cell for basal cell carcinoma. You need to tell Dr Rieger about any suspicious skin problems prior to this treatment.

Female Patient Information- It is important to inform your plastic surgeon if you use birth control pills, estrogen replacement, or if you believe you may be pregnant.  Many medications including antibiotics may neutralize the preventive effect of birth control pills, allowing for conception and pregnancy.

Smoking, Second-Hand Smoke Exposure, Nicotine Products (Patch, Gum, Nasal Spray)-

Patients who are currently smoking, use tobacco products, or nicotine products (patch, gum, or nasal spray) are at a greater risk for significant treatment complications of skin dying, delayed healing, and additional scarring.   It is important to refrain from smoking at least 2 weeks before and after treatment and until your physician states it is safe to return, if desired. Please indicate your  status regarding these items below :

Medications-  When taking the prescribed pain medications or valium after the treatment, realize that they can affect your thought process and coordination.  Do not drive, do not operate complex equipment, do not make any important decisions, and do not drink any alcohol while taking these medications.  Be sure to take your prescribed medication only as directed. 

Skin Sensitivity- Itching, tenderness, or exaggerated responses to hot or cold temperatures may occur after laser procedures.  Usually this resolves during healing, but in rare situations it may be chronic

For the following check yes or no                               yes             no

pregnant or possibly pregnant

 

 

skin infections or infection problems

 

 

active acne

 

 

suspicious skin lesions /masses

 

 

skin cancer in the past or now

 

 

taken Accutane in the past 12 months

 

 

had a chemical peel in the past 12 months

 

 

had a laser facial treatment in the past 12 months

 

 

keloid or poor scarring

 

 

active cold sores

 

 

history of cold sores or zoster

 

 

connective tissue disorders

 

 

heart disease

 

 

pacemaker/defibrillator

 

 

heart attack

 

 

immune compromised disease (AIDS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL TREATMENT OR SURGERY NECESSARY

There are many variable conditions which influence the long term result of laser procedures.  Even though risks and complications occur infrequently, the risks cited are the ones that are particularly associated with these procedures.  Other complications and risks can occur but are even more uncommon.  Should complications occur, additional surgery or other treatments may be necessary.  The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science.  Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee or warranty expressed or implied on the results that may be obtained 

PATIENT COMPLIANCE

Follow all physician instructions carefully; this is essential for the success of your outcome.  Postoperative instructions concerning appropriate restriction of activity, use of dressings, and use of sun protection must be followed in order to avoid potential complications, increased pain, and unsatisfactory result.  Your physician may recommend that you utilize a long-term skin care program to enhance healing following a laser skin resurfacing.  Successful post-operative function depends on both the treatment and subsequent care.  Physical activity that increases your pulse or heart rate may cause bruising, swelling, fluid accumulation.   It is important that you participate in follow-up care, return for aftercare, and promote your recovery after surgery.   

HEALTH INSURANCE

Most health insurance companies exclude coverage for cosmetic surgical operations such as laser skin procedures or any complications that might occur from surgery.  Please carefully review your health insurance subscriber-information pamphlet or contact your insurance company 

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

The cost of surgery involves several charges for the services provided.  Additional costs may occur should complications develop from the procedure.  Secondary surgery or hospital day-surgery charges involved with revision surgery will also be your responsibility.  In signing the consent for this surgery/procedure, you acknowledge that your have been informed about its risk and consequences and accept responsibility for the clinical decisions that were made along with the financial costs of all future treatments.

DISCLAIMER

Informed-consent documents are used to communicate information about the proposed surgical treatment of a disease or condition along with disclosure of risks and alternative forms of treatment(s), including no surgery.  The informed-consent process attempts to define principles of risk disclosure that should generally meet the needs of most patients in most circumstances. 

However, informed-consent documents should not be considered all-inclusive in defining other methods of care and risks encountered.  Your plastic surgeon may provide you with additional or different information which is based on all the facts in your particular case and the current state of medical knowledge.

Informed-consent documents are not intended to define or serve as the standard of medical care.  Standards of medical care are determined on the basis of all of the facts involved in an individual case and are subject to change as scientific knowledge and technology advance and as practice patterns evolve.

It is important that you read the above information carefully and have all of your questions answered before signing this consent.

 

I have received, read and understand the following Informed Consent Materials for my specific procedure:

Informed Consent For Cosmetic Laser Skin Resurfacing with the DOT laser

Medication and Smoking Avoidance Sheet

DVT prevention Sheet

 

The risks, benefits, and alternatives of the procedure(s) were explained to me. I understand the specific risks in the consent material for my surgery and understand the significant risks of bleeding, infection, injury to neighboring structures, capsule contracture(if implants involved), asymmetry, pulmonary emboli, deformity, healing problems, burns, herpes outbreak leading to infection and scars, bacterial infection and scars, poor scars, loss of sensation(feeling), appearance/psychological  changes, unsatisfactory result, need for future revision surgery and anesthesia. I understand the anticipated results and limitations of the surgery procedure(s). I have realistic expectations and realize that there are no guarantees in plastic surgery. The following instructions were explained to me: Pre and Post procedure instructions, DVT prevention instructions, and medications to avoid instructions. I agree to follow all instructions, to follow up as directed, and to notify the office if any problems or questions arise.

 

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