Mona Lisa Touch
IS MONA LISA TOUCH RIGHT FOR ME?
The drop in estrogen that comes with menopause and while breastfeeding can cause a series of changes in a woman’s anatomy that can have a tremendous impact on her life and her personal relationships. Lower estrogen levels lead to skin changes known as atrophic vaginitis, a condition where the tissues of the vagina and vulva become thin, fragile and susceptible to trauma. Normal elasticity is lost and women experience dryness and discomfort with intercourse. Vulvar itching and discomfort may occur with routine activity and with exercise. This condition is progressive and leads to sexual pain, avoidance of intimacy and diminished sexual desire. Often this problem is not addressed because many woman and many physicians consider it a natural consequence of menopause and childbirth and they assume there is nothing that can be done for the problem. But there are therapies that can effectively reverse these changes. MonaLisa Touch is an innovative laser technique that can address this problem in a safe and painless way.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
MonaLisa Touch uses energy from a CO2 laser, a device which has been used in surgical gynecology for decades, in a new and innovative way. By stimulating deeper vaginal and vulvar tissues with laser energy microscopic changes occur that promote greater moisture and elasticity. Many women experience dramatic improvement in sexual pain and ultimately sexual desire and response.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?
The worldwide scientific community has found evident improvement in the patient’s quality of life: the symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy, including burning, itchiness, dryness, dyspareunia, laxness and problems connected with urinary incontinence, are significantly reduced at 12 weeks from treatment with MonaLisa Touch. An improvement in women’s sexual life has been documented as well (International Menopause Society).
In general, 91.7% of patients are satisfied or very satisfied with the treatment. Moreover, no negative side effect have been encountered. One study showed that at twelve weeks from use, the laser has been effective in reducing painful intercourse in 100% of the patients treated (by 20 to 90%) and all were satisfied by the results (Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders).
HOW IS IT DONE?
MonaLisa Touch is a largely painless office procedure that takes just minutes to perform. First a numbing gel is applied to the external vagina. After 20 minutes, enough time for the gel to have a full effect, the physician places a laser probe into the vagina. Laser energy is then directed through the probe at multiple points along the vaginal wall over the entire length of the vagina. Most patients report a gentle vibration and no pain during the vaginal portion of the procedure. The laser is then directed at multiple points on the external vaginal area or vulva. After applying the numbing gel, most women feel no pain from the external treatment. The actual procedure takes less than 4 minutes.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Immediately after the procedure a moisturizing ointment is applied to the vulva. Patients are able to leave under their own power and may return to most of their normal activities straight away. Some patients experience irritation to the external treatment areas that they describe as “like a sunburn” and that rarely lasts more than 36 hours. For those who are more uncomfortable ice packs can soothe the area. We recommend applying Aquaphor ointment to the area during the first 36 hours in order to prevent and diminish irritation. Of course excessive sweating (vigorous exercise) or direct stimulation of the area (bike riding) may be uncomfortable during those 36 hours. Most women return to work the same day. Initially three separate treatments performed at 6 weeks intervals are recommended. Single retreatments every 1-2 years are necessary to maintain the healthy changes achieved with the initial series of treatments.
BEFORE AND AFTER PREPARATION FOR MONALISA TOUCH PROCEDURE
Prior to The procedure:
• Stop smoking for at least two weeks before and one week after the MonaLisa Touch procedure. Nicotine can impair circulation and healing.
• Avoid all intravaginal creams and lubricants and also avoid intercourse for 24 hours prior to the procedure.
• Starting the day before your scheduled procedure you need to drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated. You do not need to fast
• Avoid alcohol the day before the procedure
• We recommend you shower the morning of the procedure. Do not apply any creams or lotions to the area before treatment.
• You may drive yourself to the procedure and afterwards. There will be minimal lingering discomfort.
• If a mild anti-anxiety medication was prescribed for you prior to the procedure, you will need to have someone drive you to and from your procedure.
Post-Procedure Care Instructions
• Your skin may feel sensitive and may be red and swollen. The treated area may be itchy.
• Use cold compresses or cold gel packs (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) as needed for swelling and discomfort.
• Gently cleanse the area 2-3 times a day with mild soap. Dry area with a hair dryer on low heat instead of wiping with a towel. This is much less abrasive to the tissues.
• Reapply an occlusive ointment (Aquaphor) after each washing and continue to use until your skin is healed.
• You use Motrin or Advil as needed
• Avoid lifting heavy weights or intense physical exercise for 72 hours following the treatment.
• Wear loose, cotton underwear
• Avoid wearing panty hose and tight-fitting pants.
If you want to speak with one of our physicians about this therapy option please contact us at 404-252-1137 to arrange a consultation. When you are ready to schedule the procedure please call our clinical nurse specialist Shayla.