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CO2 Laser Resurfacing In Sarasota


The quality of a person’s skin contributes greatly to the appearance of aging. Poor skin quality can age a person significantly. It can also affect the results of anti-aging cosmetic procedures like neuromodulators and facelifts. Luckily, there are many surgical and non-surgical options for improving skin quality. Non-surgical procedures like microneedling and chemical peels can address basic skin quality issues and are great for younger patients. What if you need a more aggressive treatment? A surgical procedure known as CO2 laser resurfacing may provide the results you desire. Dr. Alberico Sessa at Sarasota Surgical Arts performs CO2 laser resurfacing in Sarasota, Florida.


CO2 lasers utilize light and deliver it in short, targeted beams to the skin. Heat is also emitted in the process, but it should not cause damage to the skin. These beams of light remove some of the upper layers of skin in an ablative technique that stimulates collagen production. Finally, the healing process of your skin is itself part of the treatment.

The laser skin resurfacing treatment itself consists of Dr. Sessa gently moving the laser across your face. He may adjust the settings, or focus treatment on certain problem areas. Overall, it can take anywhere from around 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the specifics of your procedure.

What Skin Issues Does It Address?

Since the mid-20th century, doctors and cosmetic surgeons have used CO2 lasers for the treatment of a variety of concerns. Among the skin issues that CO2 laser resurfacing can address include:

  • Acne scarring
  • Sun damage/sun spots
  • Stretch marks
  • Uneven or rough skin texture
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Certain types of hyperpigmentation
  • Facial scarring

There are many types of laser treatments that can benefit and improve the quality of your skin. Depending on the cause of your poor skin quality, goals, and medical history, Dr. Sessa can recommend the right surgical or non-surgical laser treatment for your skin.


CO2 laser resurfacing offers many benefits to patients in Sarasota. In Florida, the sun is out nearly year round. Therefore, the Florida sun is renowned for causing sun damage in it’s residents. CO2 laser resurfacing is one of the most effective treatments for sun damage and spots. Other benefits of the procedure consist of:

  • Brighter, clearer skin
  • Typically long lasting results that only require one treatment to achieve
  • Quick procedure
  • Can be performed under local anesthesia
  • Usually a relatively short recovery period
  • Easily combinable with other procedures like a mini facelift
  • Can provide dramatic results
  • Effective for the treatment of acne scars and some other types of facial scarring 

CO2 Laser Complementary Procedures:

As mentioned above, a CO2 laser resurfacing procedure can improve the results of many procedures, especially facial procedures. Dr. Sessa can determine whether adding CO2 laser to your existing facial cosmetic surgery would benefit you. Among the procedures that CO2 laser may benefit include:

Some patients may even choose to add CO2 laser onto a non-facial procedure. CO2 laser resurfacing complements facial procedures because combined they can address both skin quality and sag at the same time. 

Combining procedures is generally safe in a healthy patient and when performed by an expert like Dr. Sessa. If you want to combine CO2 laser with another cosmetic surgery in Sarasota, Dr. Sessa can assess if you are a good candidate for the combined procedures.

A Before & After of a Facelift Plastic Surgery by Dr. Alberico Sessa in Sarasota
CO2 Laser Before & After


    At Sarasota Surgical Arts, there are two types of CO2 laser offered for skin rejuvenation. The surgical CO2 laser and the non-surgical fractional CO2 laser. The surgical CO2 laser Dr. Sessa performs as an outpatient surgery, often with other facial surgeries. Conversely, the non-surgical fractional CO2 laser is performed as an in-office treatment that requires no anesthesia beyond topical numbing cream. 

    A non-surgical CO2 laser treatment is non-ablative and utilizes a fractional laser. This means that the laser breaks up the energy into thousands of beams, treating only a fraction of the skin. While less aggressive, it requires less downtime and can provide great results with continued treatments. The table below details other major differences between the two procedures.

    Surgical CO2 LaserNon-Surgical CO2 Laser
    • Normally only one treatment required to see long lasting results
    • Necessary recovery period
    • Ablative laser
    • Typically has older patients (around facelift age)
    • Requires multiple treatments to achieve results
    • No required downtime
    • Utilizes non-ablative laser
    • More common in younger patients (although may benefit adults of all ages)
    • Little risk

    While the two procedures do vary, they also have many similarities. Both surgical and non-surgical CO2 lasers leave skin more sensitive to the sun and require strict usage of SPF. It is also important to care for your skin per Dr. Sessa’s instructions to achieve the best results.


    Consultation With Dr. Sessa

    A consultation with Dr. Sessa is an opportunity to get all of your questions answered, find out if you are a candidate for CO2 laser resurfacing, and receive a price quote. To begin, Dr. Sessa will want to know your goals for treatment and medical history. After gaining this knowledge, he will examine the treatment area to determine if CO2 laser resurfacing will adequately treat your concerns and meet your goals.

    Finishing up the physical exam, Dr. Sessa will determine if you are a viable candidate for CO2 laser resurfacing in Sarasota. He will also explain the results you can expect following treatment. Before leaving, you will receive a price quote for your procedure(s) and financing information.  

    The Surgical Laser Resurfacing Procedure

    On the day of your procedure, you will come to the Sarasota Surgical Arts surgical facility where our staff will greet you and begin the check in process. Next, after you are checked in and cleared for surgery, a licensed anesthesia provider will administer your chosen form of anesthesia. 

    Once the anesthesia takes effect, Dr. Sessa will begin the procedure. If you are also having another procedure such as a facelift, Dr. Sessa will likely perform it first. If not, he will begin the laser resurfacing right away. 

    Dr. Sessa will glide the laser across your face or treatment area. He may adjust the settings or focus on certain areas depending on the specifics of the procedure. Otherwise, the laser will remove layers of skin to promote brighter, healthier skin. 

    CO2 Laser Resurfacing Recovery

    When you come to your Sarasota CO2 laser resurfacing procedure, you will have bandages covering the treatment area. You will likely not experience too much pain for a few hours as the anesthesia wears off. After a brief period of observation, Dr. Sessa will clear you to go home and release you to your caregiver. 

    Dr. Sessa will provide instructions on how to properly care for your skin following the procedure. After the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some pain comparable to a bad sunburn. You may also notice some bleeding immediately after, but this should subside within a day or so once the scabs form. 

    CO2 laser procedures can require a few days to two weeks of social downtime. It depends on your healing process and the aggressiveness of treatment. Therefore, Dr. Sessa will provide individualized instructions based on your CO2 laser treatment. Normally, after two weeks, any residual side effects are healed enough to be covered with makeup safely and effectively.


    In general, a CO2 laser is considered a safe and low risk procedure in a good candidate. However, like all surgical procedures, CO2 laser resurfacing in Sarasota does come with some risk. The typical surgical risks of infection, unsatisfactory result, and scarring are all possible. Dr. Sessa will screen you prior to surgery to ensure you have a low risk of complications. 

    Furthermore, the largest risk of CO2 laser resurfacing is to those with darker skin tones, around a III or IV on the Fitzpatrick scale. Any laser procedure will have a higher chance of causing hyperpigmentation on darker skin tones and complexions.

    Occasionally, brightening creams can be used for a few weeks prior to a laser treatment. This will not affect skin tone, but will deactivate melanin production temporarily. However, this is normally only possible for non-surgical laser procedures and varies highly from patient to patient. 

    Dr. Sessa can discuss your options and individual risk during a consultation at Sarasota Surgical Arts. There are alternatives to lasers that may show those at higher risk, a good result.


    Surgical lasers–in particular CO2 lasers–have been used in cosmetic surgery procedures for almost half a century. Dr. Alberico Sessa at Sarasota Surgical Arts is an expert at laser rejuvenation and often uses them with facelift procedures. 

    Sun exposure is one of the top factors that ages skin, especially in Florida. CO2 laser resurfacing with Dr. Sessa can reduce the appearance of and treat sun damaged skin. Sarasota Surgical Arts provides surgical and non-surgical laser treatment options in addition to a state-of-the-art surgical center accredited by the Florida Board of Medicine. 

    To schedule a consultation with Dr. Alberico Sessa at Sarasota Surgical Arts, call us at 941-923-1736. Additionally, you can contact us online using chat in the bottom right or the contact form on this page.