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Laser Resurfacing

Your complete guide and quick links to everything you want to know about Laser Resurfacing in Sydney!

What Is Laser Resurfacing?

Laser Resurfacing is considered by many to be the ultimate skin rejuvenation tool. It can effectively replace old sun-damaged skin with new, remove fine wrinkles, and deliver ongoing skin tightening over the following 6 months.

The impressive skin improvement seen after just one Laser Skin Resurfacing far surpasses anything that can be achieved with Non-Ablative Lasers or IPL devices.

Improvements You Can Reasonably Expect From Laser Resurfacing

  • A markedly rejuvenated skin appearance. 
  • Removal/Reduction of Wrinkles: Fine wrinkles can be totally removed but medium-depth and deep wrinkles that are deeper than the resurfacing can safely reach, can only be made shallower.
  • A variable degree of skin tightening, especially under the eyes.
  • Removal of skin lesions and blemishes such as freckles, lentigines, seborrheic keratoses and sunspots.
  • Removal/Reduction of Acne Scars – the degree of improvement depending on the shape and depth of the acne scars.

Specific Conditions Suitable For Laser Resurfacing

1. Facial Wrinkles

Fine wrinkles can be totally removed but medium-depth and deeper wrinkles that reach deeper than the level of the resurfacing, can only be made shallower.

Nevertheless, the overall reduction in number and depth of wrinkles is very noticeable.

The initial reduction of wrinkles is enhanced by the ongoing stimulation of collagen synthesis over the ensuing 6 months to provide additional skin tightening and firming.

Before Full Face Fraxel CO2 Laser Resurfacing
6 Months After Full Face Fraxel CO2 Laser Resurfacing

2. Facial Sun Damage Manifested By:

  • skin roughness and dullness
  • freckles and brown blotches
  • sallowness
  • excessive wrinkling
  • mottled pigmentation
  • scaly sunspots
Before Full Face Fraxel CO2 Laser Resurfacing
6 Months After Full Face Fraxel CO2 Laser Resurfacing

If your signs of sun damage are not advanced, an alternative option could be a Medium Chemical Peel – either alone, or in combination with Laser Resurfacing.

For example, Laser Resurfacing could be performed for wrinkles under the eyes or on the upper lip and blended in with a Medium Chemical Peel to the rest of the face. 

3. Acne Scarring

Only some acne scar shapes are suitable for Laser Resurfacing. At your Initial Consultation, our doctor will assess and advise you very honestly whether or not your type and depth of acne scars can be improved by Laser Resurfacing. If not suitable for Laser Resurfacing, alternative treatments can be recommended.
Acne Scarring

4. Chronically Sun-Damaged Lips (Actinic Cheilitis)

This condition resembles ‘chapped lips’ and carries a risk of cancerous change if left untreated. This condition needs to be treated early before any cancerous changes develop.


5. Miscellaneous Skin Lesions Including

  • Brown ‘Age Spots’ (Lentigos)
  • Seborrheic Keratoses
  • Solar Keratoses (‘Sunspots’)
  • Epidermal Naevi
  • Warts
  • Benign skin tumours e.g. Syringomas
  • Selected biopsy-proven superficial skin cancers
Brown 'Age Spots'
Brown 'Age Spots'

Laser Resurfacing ‘Before & Afters’

The following Before/After images are just a small selection of the thousands of Laser Skin Resurfacing procedures our Clinic has performed since 1993.

Some are examples by our previous ‘Ultrapulse CO2 Laser’ (no longer manufactured) while others are the results with our current Fraxel Laser in Sydney.

Nevertheless, they all demonstrate the impressive results that can be achieved with Laser Resurfacing when experience and skill are combined with an ablative CO2 Laser.

Full Face Laser Resurfacing

4 Months After Full Face Laser Resurfacing
4 Months After Full Face Laser Resurfacing
4 Months After Full Face Laser Resurfacing
6 Months After Full Face Laser Resurfacing
4 Months After Full Face Laser Resurfacing
6 Months After Full Face Laser Resurfacing
4 Months After Full Face Laser Resurfacing
4 Months After Full Face Laser Resurfacing

Upper Lip Wrinkles

6 Months After Laser Resurfacing of Upper Lip
6 Months After Laser Resurfacing of Upper Lip & Chin
(Image 6) 6 Months AFTER Laser Resurfacing of Upper Lip & Chin (2)
(Image 6) 6 Months AFTER Laser Resurfacing of Upper Lip & Chin (1)
6 Months After Laser Resurfacing of Upper Lip & Chin
6 Months After Resurfacing of Upper Lip
6 Months After Laser Resurfacing of Upper Lip
6 Months After Laser Resurfacing of Upper Lip

Crow’s Feet and Under Eyes

6 Months After Laser Resurfacing Under Eyes
6 Months After Laser Resurfacing Under Eyes
6 Months After Laser Resurfacing Under Eyes
6 Months After Laser Resurfacing Under Eyes

How Is Laser Resurfacing Done?

Unlike the early CO2 Resurfacing Lasers which ablated the entire skin surface, our current Fraxel CO2 Laser ablates thousands of microscopic laser columns in the skin as shown in the illustration below.

Leaving intact skin between the lasered columns not only shortens the healing time, it also helps to avoid the loss of skin colour (hypopigmentation) that was not uncommon with the earlier totally ablative lasers.

Fraxel Laser Resurfacing can deliver very impressive results when performed under optimum energy levels but pain relief is always required when working at these higher energy levels.

You may hear that Laser Resurfacing is offered by some Sydney clinics under a local anaesthetic cream only and with healing times of only 4-5 days. To us, this only suggests that very low laser settings are being used.

We too, could offer similar ‘ultra-light’ resurfacing treatments but we don’t – because we know, from over 25 years of laser resurfacing experience, that your results would be disappointing for both of us!

For those reasons, to deliver the best possible results using high energy settings and at the same time make your treatment totally pain-free, we perform all Laser Resurfacing in a Licensed Day Hospital under one or other form of anaesthesia, as follows:

  • INDIVIDUAL FACIAL AREAS: For Laser Resurfacing of small cosmetic units of the face such as the upper lip, chin, under eyes or forehead, a Local Anaesthetic ‘nerve block’ is usually all that is required.
  • FULL FACE OR CHEEKS: As the cheeks cannot be effectively numbed with a ‘nerve block’, these are done under General Anaesthesia administered by our Specialist Anaesthetist. 

We perform all Laser Skin Resurfacing under the above protocols with the confidence that we can make your procedure totally pain-free, and at the same time deliver the best possible improvement for your skin.

Although our Laser Resurfacing treatments would prove too painful without an anaesthetic, rest assured that you should have no pain after the procedure!

So, why would you subject yourself to the cost and recovery period from Laser Resurfacing performed at low energy settings just to avoid the hospital/anaesthetist costs and end up disappointed with the result?

You can go home 1-2 hours after your procedure but you cannot go home alone. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult who can be with you in the first 24 hours.

We will provide you with detailed instructions as to how to care for your skin during the healing period.

Healing is usually complete by the 9th day. Once fully healed, you can apply make-up, return to our clinic for a check, and then resume your usual work and social activities.

Potential Risks & Complications of Laser Resurfacing

As with every other cosmetic procedure, Laser Resurfacing has potential risks and complications and these include:

  • Temporary swelling.
  • Prolonged post-operative redness of the skin.
  • Increased skin pigmentation (hyperpigmentation).
  • Decreased skin pigmentation (hypopigmentation).
  • Infection.
  • Triggering of ‘Cold Sores’.
  • Scarring.
  • Contrast with adjacent untreated areas.
  • Demarcation lines.
  • Incomplete removal of the target wrinkles/acne scars/skin lesions.
  • Allergic reaction to medications, dressings or antiseptic solutions.
  • Adverse reactions to Local Anaesthetic.
  • Allergic reaction to medications, sutures, dressings, or antiseptic solutions.
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) and its potential to cause life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism. To reduce the risk of DVT, Calf Massagers can be applied for the entire duration of your surgery to prevent the blood in your leg veins from pooling and clotting.
  • Adverse Reactions to Anaesthesia or Medication: The safety of anaesthesia nowadays in Australia is well established. Nevertheless, potential risks exist with all anaesthesia and unexpected reactions can occur. These may include nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions ranging from minor to severe. Respiratory failure, heart failure, heart attack and stroke are rare but documented risks of any general anaesthesia.

How Long Will The Improvement Last?

This depends on you, your lifestyle and future sun exposure. Generally, the more you avoid sun exposure and use effective UV protection when exposure is unavoidable, the longer your results will last.

With good UV protection, the results should last 5-10 years.

As with other forms of skin resurfacing, the procedure can be repeated if and when required.

What Precautions Are Necessary After Laser Resurfacing?

To maintain your skin’s improvement for as long as possible, you should protect your new skin from exposure to the sun and ultraviolet light for at least 3 months after Laser Resurfacing.  This is because your new skin is initially very sensitive to the sun and ultraviolet light. 

This does not mean that you have to stay indoors but NO SUNBAKING, even with sunscreens. 

Always remember that ultraviolet light, particularly Ultraviolet A, is present all year round, even on cloudy days, and can easily penetrate glass e.g. when driving a car or sitting at a window. 

So, do not ease up on your UV protection, even on cloudy days!

Watch Our Laser Resurfacing Animation Video ​

The Cost of Laser Resurfacing in Sydney

  • Laser Resurfacing

The total cost of a Laser Resurfacing procedure in Sydney will depend on the number of facial areas and the Theatre time required.

Please note that although our Sydney clinic’s Laser Resurfacing Fees below are fixed, we cannot quote on behalf of other Service Providers and accordingly the costs below for Hospital and Anaesthetist are meant as approximate indications only and could vary either way.

Accordingly, the total cost of a Laser Resurfacing Procedure could be expected to be approximately as set out below.

  • Full Face:
  • Laser Resurfacing Fee $4,400
  • Hospital Theatre Fee (1 hr) $1,420
  • Anaesthetist Fee (1 hr) $660
  • Total $6,480
  • Full Cheeks:
  • Laser Resurfacing Fee $3,750
  • Hospital Theatre Fee (1 hr) $1,420
  • Anaesthetist Fee (1 hr) $660
  • Total $5,830
  • One Facial Area:
    (e.g. upper lip, under eyes, chin, forehead. Anaesthetist not required)
  • Laser Resurfacing Fee $2,750
  • Hospital Theatre Fee (1 hr) $1,420
  • Total $4,170

Can I Claim a Medicare or Health Insurance Rebate?

Although you cannot claim a Medicare Rebate for Laser Resurfacing for cosmetic reasons, you may be eligible for a partial Medicare Rebate if you have severely disfiguring acne scarring.

If you do qualify, and you also have Private Hospital Cover, you may also be able to claim a variable portion of your Hospital Fees depending on your Fund and Level of Cover.

Our Cosmetic Doctors

Why You Should Consider Our Clinic For Your Laser Resurfacing

1. Our years of experience with CO2 Laser Resurfacing

Our Clinic’s experience with Laser Resurfacing dates as far back as 1993 and in 1998 our then Medical Director, Dr George Mayson, passed the examinations of the American Board of Laser Surgery with one of the highest scores ever recorded. Although now retired from clinical practice, he has passed his knowledge and techniques of Laser Resurfacing on to our current Cosmetic Doctors.

2. Our very impressive safety record

Incorrectly performed Laser Resurfacing can lead to permanent facial scarring. Reassuringly, to date our Clinic has never seen a single case of scarring from Laser Resurfacing.

3. One effective treatment is all you will need!

We never cease to be amazed by reports from callers that they’ve had “Fraxel” Laser Resurfacing elsewhere but have not been happy with their result, or that they were recommended multiple treatment sessions and their ‘downtime’ was only 3-4 days!

Possible explanations for such patient reports could be:

  • The “Fraxel” Laser used was not an ABLATIVE CO2 LASER:  The word ‘Fraxel’ is a generic term and an acronym for ‘fractionated’ – meaning that only a fraction of the skin is being lasered. Some companies may have lasers that are ‘Fraxel’ by their action but that doesn’t mean that their ‘Fraxel’ is a CO2 or Erbium Fraxel Laser – and it needs to be a CO2 or Erbium Laser to deliver a worthwhile result.
  • The Laser’s Resurfacing Settings Were Set ‘Too Light’: If the laser’s energy settings are set too low, you may appreciate the lesser downtime of only 3-4 days but the correction of facial wrinkles, acne scars or general facial sun damage will be far less than it would have been with higher settings.

4. We offer all Skin Resurfacing Techniques, not just Laser.

Skin Resurfacing can be achieved by any of 3 very different methods:

  • Laser (CO2 or Erbium)
  • Chemical Peel (Medium or Deep)
  • Dermabrasion (Surgical, NOT Micro-Dermabrasion)

Each skin resurfacing technique has its advantages and disadvantages. However, with our years of experience with all three techniques, we’re able to confidently predict whether laser alone, or a combination of the above techniques, would deliver the best possible result.

Just keep in mind that unless a clinic is experienced in ALL three resurfacing techniques, you could end up being offered only the technique they know and not the one that will give you the result you’re after.

At Sydney Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Clinic, we always customise every patient’s resurfacing procedure according to the technique, or combination of techniques, that will deliver the best possible result.

Terms & Conditions

  • Consultations must be pre-paid at time of booking.
  • Once pre-paid, all consultations are non-refundable and non-transferable but can be moved to another date with at least 3 working days’ notice.
  • Cancellations with less than 3 working days’ notice and ‘no shows’ are not refundable or transferable and will incur a new consultation fee to re-book.
  • All payments by Credit Card & Debit Card attract a 0.3% surcharge and Amex a 1.5% surcharge.
  • The Medical Board of Australia’s new Regulations which came into effect on 1 July 2023 require that:
    • All patients seeking a consultation regarding cosmetic surgery must provide a referral and the referral must be from a GP or other specialist who does not perform cosmetic surgery or non-surgical cosmetic services themselves.
    • If a patient arrives without a referral, the Regulations recommend that the doctor should refrain from seeing the patient – in which event, any pre-paid consultation fee would be lost.

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Our Cosmetic Doctors

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Our Specialist Surgeons

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