MonaLisa touch utilises fractional CO2 Laser to restore vaginal tissue for an anti-ageing effect, Making it a valuable addition to a cosmetic practice.

From being a taboo subject, vaginal rejuvenation has lately become a public secret. In the past few months, it has moved from the realm of specialist gynaecological treatment to a more routine procedure performed after thorough check-up by the attending doctor.

MonaLisa Touch, distributed in Australia by High Tech Laser, is a new non-surgical way to treat vaginal atrophy – a condition that can result in incontinence, poor lubrication, itching, dryness and pain during intercourse. It is a simple procedure and the device requires no consumables, making it an attractive addition to an aesthetic practice.

MonaLisa_Image1MonaLisa Touch can also be used for aesthetic purposes, to counter the effects of ageing and achieve a rejuvenating effect on external tissue.

‘MonaLisa Touch has been developed to help patients suffering from symptoms such as urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, dryness, itchiness, burning, vulval and vaginal pain, prolapse and laxity or looseness,’ explains Dr Fariba Behnia-Willison, a gynaecologist from South Australia.

How does it work?

The versatility of MonaLisa Touch stems from the technology it uses to improve the genital mucosa and restore proper function in the treatment area. Using fractionated CO2 laser, the MonaLisa Touch probe – which is inserted into the vagina – delivers thermal energy into the deeper layers of the vaginal tissue.

‘To put it in simple terms, the MonaLisa Touch procedure stimulates the body’s natural processes,’ Dr Behnia-Willison explains. ‘It creates more hydrated and healthy cells which help to increase vascularisation, hydration and acidity, which are important components of vaginal health.’

The biomechanical mechanisms underlying these regenerative phenomena are due to the specific thermal effect caused by irradiation with the fractional CO2 laser – the particular emission characteristics of the vaginal probe mean the energy load can be transferred to
the mucosa, thereby preventing excessive localised thermal damage.

According to Dr Behnia-Willison, a treatment to improve vaginal function is sought by a significant number of women, of many different ages. ‘Although many of my patients are going through menopause or are post-menopausal, there are also many younger women suffering from similar symptoms,’ she says. ‘I have found the treatment particularly effective for women who find it painful to have sexual intercourse.’

The treatment itself is non-invasive and requires no anaesthesia. Often, a series of treatments is recommended to achieve the best results. ‘MonaLisa Touch is a straightforward and simple procedure. It involves a probe being placed inside the vagina and the fractionated CO2 energy being delivered to the vaginal tissue,’ says
Dr Behnia-Willison.

‘The published research has shown that the best results are obtained from three MonaLisa Touch treatments, performed a month apart. Most patients notice a significant improvement after the first procedure. I also recommend to patients they may need a follow-up procedure every year or so, after the initial course of treatments.’

‘In my experience, which is similar to that of overseas practitioners, the likelihood of post-treatment complications following a MonaLisa Touch treatment is minimal,’ she says. ‘The worst side effect I have seen has been some mild discomfort for 12 to 24 hours following the procedure, but this is in only a handful of patients and I have now performed more than 1,000 MonaLisa Touch treatments.’

‘Almost all of my patients notice a significant improvement following the MonaLisa Touch procedure – some have even described the treatment as life-changing,’ says Dr Behnia-Willison. ‘I hope it becomes the new standard of care for the many women suffering from these often painful symptoms that can effect their everyday life. It certainly has in my practice.’

Mode of action

Vaginal mucosa consists of vaginal epithelium and lamina propria.

  • The vaginal epithelium is a multilayered, non-keratinized squamous epithelium. It regenerates thanks to a dynamic process that starts with the proliferation of the cells of the stratum basale and ends with the shedding of the most superficial cells.
  • The lamina propria lies below the epithelium and is arranged in papillae. It consists of connective tissue, rich in collagen and elastic fibres.

It contains vessels, mostly capillaries,and lymphocytes while there are no glands. It is responsible for the support and trophism (nutrition) of the vaginal lining and is fundamental for the architecture of the vaginal wall. During menopause, the mucosa presents a particular condition with fibrocytes that are metabolically quiescent, as opposed to fibroblasts, and is therefore unable to actively produce hyaluronic acid and other molecules necessary for an adequate glycoprotein ground matrix. This can result in a dry mucosa, with low water content in the connective tissue, meaning it is less nourished and therefore more fragile and prone to infection.

The purpose of treating vaginal atrophy is to promote and recover pre-menopausal metabolic activity by means of a new synthesis that consists of collagen, hyaluronic acid, glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans. This results in a hydrated and turgid mucosa which functions as healthy, younger tissue.

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