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Dr. Tenenbaum says her advice to physicians who offer nonsurgical vaginal rejuvenation with radiofrequency or laser devices is: Don’t oversell it.
“I think all these things can help,” she says. “But that doesn’t mean that they’re 100% perfect, and patients will be like their 18-year-old selves. I also believe that the effects wear off over time. So I think probably we see really good effects at three months posttreatment and at six months posttreatment, but, then, closer to a year, two years, we start to see a drop off.”
The good news is doctors can re-treat these women.
“Prepare the patients that this may be something that they’ll want to repeat,” she says.
Big questions remain on which protocols and devices would best treat which indications.
“Some people believe that for postmenopausal vaginal atrophy, dryness and irritation that, perhaps, a resurfacing treatment, like a CO2, may be better. But for laxity and looseness, radiofrequency may be better. For stress urinary incontinence, lasers may be better. And I’m saying ‘may be’ because we don’t have the data,” Dr. Tenenbaum says.
There are also the questions of whether doctors should treat the symptoms individually, and the average length of time symptoms abate after treatments with different devices.
Disclosures: Drs. Myckatyn and Tenenbaum are on the advisory board for Viveve and Allergan.