Questions? Call (816) 286-4126
Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



What is CO2 laser resurfacing?

January 7, 2014, 9:02 am

What better time than the start of a new year to reevaluate, refresh, and renew your look?

CO2 laser resurfacing is a great option for getting rid of uneven skin tone, wrinkles, scars and minor blemishes, and other skin abnormalities, particularly on the face. CO2 laser resurfacing allows your doctor to administer precise treatment with artistry, giving you a youthful glow once you have fully recovered.

How does CO2 laser resurfacing work?

Laser resurfacing refreshes the skin by using continuous laser pulses on the skin to remove layers of sun damage and aging, revealing fresh skin underneath. There is minimal heat, reducing risk of damage sometimes associated with older treatment technologies. Laser resurfacing has a low risk of infection, a short time frame from start to finish, and gives the doctor precision control.

Am I a good candidate?

When you schedule a CO2 laser resurfacing procedure at Kansas City Surgical Arts, Dr. Hlavacek will discuss your health history, goals, and other factors to determine if you are a candidate. Let Dr. Hlavacek know if you are prone to cold sores or if you use medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, or those containing vitamin E. Also, inform your physician if you are a smoker, and plan to stop smoking prior to your procedure. Those with dark skin tones may not be good candidates for CO2 laser resurfacing, but Dr. Hlavacek will help you to determine if you are a good fit, and will provide alternatives if you aren’t.

What to expect during the procedure

Laser resurfacing may take from half an hour to two hours, depending on your needs. Dr. Hlavacek will administer anesthesia based on the amount and depth of surface area being treated.


Dr. Hlavacek will go over your recovery plan to ensure that you have maximum results, but complete healing typically takes 10 to 21 days. He will also discuss skin care during recovery, including ointments and a cleansing routine, the importance of moisturizing, and when you can go back to using makeup.

Some swelling and redness after the procedure are normal. Certain medications, an extra pillow to elevate while sleeping, and ice packs a day or two after resurfacing may help. Some itching is normal. The average treatment will feel like a severe sunburn for the first few days, which is typically adequately treated with pain medication.

Once your skin has healed, maximize your results by protecting your skin with broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30 or higher, and wear a wide-brimmed hat to reduce sun exposure.

What CO2 laser resurfacing can’t do

Although CO2 laser resurfacing is great for eliminating or reducing wrinkles, especially fine lines around the eyes and mouth, and for removing scarring, there are a few things it can’t do. CO2 laser resurfacing isn’t able to eliminate excessive skin, but can help improve some folds. For those with excessive skin that can’t be eliminated with CO2 laser resurfacing, ask our office about other procedures that may be used in conjunction with laser resurfacing or on their own.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Kansas City Surgical Arts today at 816-286-4126.