Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Forum - View Single Post - When to start laser treatment
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Old 02-09-2004, 06:58 PM
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Default Re:When to start laser treatment

We live in Howell, MI. Our 20 mo. old son just had his first laser treatment on 1/27. The doctor used the Candela V-Beam laser. The proceedure lasted only 60-90 seconds and we are now waiting to see how effect the proceedure was. Danny had PWS on his left lower eyelid, left cheek, his nose and also on his upper lip. His was also diagnosed as a "mild" PWS; more pink and red discoloration. It took over a year for our pediatrians to finally diagnose it. At first they said, "wait and see". They thought it was "angel kisses" or at worse a "capillary hemangioma" that would eventually go away. Even though he was born with it and it never faded, they never even suggested PWS. They said wait until he is one and if not gone by then go see a specialist. I knew all along that it had to be a PWS I just didn't want to believe it. Danny turned 1 yr in May 03 and I would have seen his ped. dermatologist sooner but he was out of the country all summer so we got into see him in Nov 03 when Danny was 18 mos. In retrospect, I wish I had followed my instinct and had this proceedure done sooner. Our son was not sedated for the treatment because the proceedure it so quick. A topical cream painkiller was provided but he still screamed and cried because he was aware something was happening and didn't like being held down. I think he will need a second treatment because it was so difficult to do the laser work around his eye. If he had been younger I don't think he would have been able to resist as much. My husband and I were with him the entire time and it was tough to watch but 10 min after treatment he seemed fine. I gave him tylenol that day and the next. It looked horrible but the skin was smooth to touch. He did not seem bothered by it. A week later, the skin became dry and red, I have been applying Neosporin + pain relief to it 1-2 times daily to help heal. In two weeks he hasn't once touched it while it heals so it must not be hurting or bothering him.

From my research I have found two pediatric dermatolgoist in Southeast Michigan. Dr. Tor Shwayer with Henry Ford Hospital and Dr. Rassmusen at UofM in Ann Arbor. Dr. Shwayder did Danny's treatment. It was done at the West Bloomfield office. He worked well with Danny and appeard to be very good with children. He also helped us by writing a predetermination letter for our insurance company. Only problem is with scheduling. He only does this prodeedure on the last Tues of each month so if there is a cancellation, you need to wait 30 days to reschedule. Also, it is recommended that the child not have a sun tan on their face. My son tans dark so we needed to get this proceedure done this winter. I found it strange that he didn't take a "before" photo. Not sure if most doctors do. We certainly did on our own and I have taken a photo of Danny's face about every other day to track the healing process.
If you havn't already chkd it out, go to the Candela website. They said their V-Beam can be used on infants as young as 3 weeks old. Talk with a Pediatric Dermatologist to discuss when the "best" age is to have this done. Keep in mind it could take numerous treatments that will also require healing time inbetween so treatments could last longer than a year or two. Age may be a more important factor if you consider this. I too have read that sooner is better. I have seen many before and after photos of infants that look like they are around 6-9mos. old

Hope this post helps.
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