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Laser vs. Radiofrequency Vaginal Rejuvenation: Which Is Better?

Non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation has come a long way in recent years, and Dr. Steven Yarinsky is committed to staying at the forefront of these latest advancements. Although surgical vaginal rejuvenation procedures may be ideal for those in need of more extensive repair, minimally invasive techniques can provide significant tightening results for the right candidates. Two of the most popular non-surgical options includes laser and radiofrequency technologies. Both can be effective for tightening of the vaginal tissues; however, each technique works in a unique way and, as a result, produces slightly different outcomes.

Laser vaginal tightening generally employs CO2 fractional or erbium laser technology. This method works by sending pulses of laser energy into the vaginal tissue, which damages the surface of the skin and perforates the skin signaling the body to repair itself. This healing process stimulates collagen production, which has shown to help tighten the vagina, increase lubrication, and improve urinary incontinence. Laser vaginal rejuvenation is typically a quick treatment process but requires a few days of recovery and down time, including avoiding intercourse for several days after each of the three recommended initial monthly treatments. Generally speaking, the outside of the vagina, the labia minora and majora, cannot be treated with laser vaginal rejuvenation. The laser treatment also is typically more painful than radiofrequency vaginal rejuvenation, and the laser treatment head which must be placed inside your vagina during treatment may be as large as a toilet paper roll. This combined with the laser burning the surface of the skin and lining of the vagina can be quite uncomfortable and require days to recuperate and the use of topical creams to heal, such as aloe vera.

Radiofrequency (RF)-based vaginal rejuvenation, such as ThermiVa®, uses a small probe the diameter of your little finger that comfortably delivers thermal (electrical) energy to warm the lining and outside of the vagina. This includes the labia majora and minora to lift, tone and tighten the outside skin like “shrink-wrap.” Treatments feel like having a “hot stone massage” so they are not only bearable but comfortable for patients. Similar to laser treatments, this technique damages the tissue (but only beneath the surface of the skin) in order to increase cell growth as the body heals. Since the surface of the skin is not destroyed with RF energy, there is usually absolutely no downtime with ThermiVa® and, therefore, no need to abstain from having sex or resuming all activities the same day as the treatment. Through this RF energy, patients have reported a tighter labia majora and labia minora, improved lubrication and sensitivity, as well as correction of mild urinary incontinence with improved muscle tone. Postmenopausal women (who typically complain of dryness during penetration) find intercourse with the increased lubrication is much more comfortable and pain free. After their RF treatment, women who complain of vaginal looseness (often a result of vaginal delivery) achieve muscle tightening, a tighter vaginal opening, and more pleasant stimulation with intercourse. A unique benefit of ThermiVa® in contrast to laser vaginal rejuvenation, is its ability to treat both the inner and outer areas of the vagina. Just like the laser treatments, three monthly ThermiVa® treatments are needed to reach the maximum result. Touch-up single treatments are given every 8-12 months to maintain the results.

With over 20 years of experience performing vaginal rejuvenation with labiaplasty, Dr. Yarinsky has found ThermiVa® to offer exceptional results for his patients. In fact, nearly every patient who has been treated with ThermiVa® at Saratoga Springs Plastic Surgery has reported a positive outcome and is happy with the results from their procedure. This has been possible due to Dr. Yarinsky’s expertise in performing the technique as well as only recommending it for ideal candidates.

Overall, while laser and radiofrequency treatments can each offer positive vaginal rejuvenation outcomes, the best option will ultimately depend upon your specific concerns and goals. It is important that you schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in performing both surgical and non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation treatments to determine which option is most appropriate for your needs.

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