Ablative Fractionated CO2 Laser Resurfacing for the Neck: Prospective Study andReview of the Literature

August 2009 | Volume 8 | Issue 8 | Original Article | 723 | Copyright © August 2009

Emily P. Tierney MD and C. William Hanke MD MPH

Background: Ablative laser resurfacing of the neck has been tested with the ultrapulsed CO2, ablative Er:YAG and short pulse duration CO2 laser with mixed results in terms of efficacy and side effect profiles. Given the preliminary reports of safety and efficacy of ablative fractional photothermolysis (AFP) for the face, we set out to assess the efficacy of AFP for the neck.

Design: A prospective pilot study for neck resurfacing in 10 subjects with a series of one-to-three treatment sessions. Treatment sessions were administered at six-to-eight week intervals with blinded physician photographic analysis of improvement at two months post-treatment. Blinded physician photographic evaluation was performed of four clinical indicators, skin texture, skin laxity, rhytides and overall cosmetic outcome.

Results: The number of treatments required for improvement of neck texture and laxity ranged from 1–3, with an average of 1.4. For skin texture, the mean score improved 62.9% (95% CI: 57.4%, 68.4%), skin laxity, 57.0% (53.2%, 60.8%), and rhytides, 51.4% (48.3%, 54.5%). For overall cosmetic outcome, the mean score improved 59.3% (55.1%, 63.5%) at two months post treatment.

Conclusion: In this prospective study, AFP was both safe and effective for the treatment of neck laxity, rhytids and skin texture. The degree of improvement observed in wrinkling, texture and laxity after AFP coupled with the benign side effect profile has not been reported with previous trials of ablative laser resurfacing of the neck.