The cooling system works by directing cold air on the area being treated, taking away the discomfort that can be caused from the light beam as it passes through the skin. In appropriate cases, the new system will provide an alternative to local anaesthetic cream or injections and some general anaesthetic procedures.
Philip Wright, Clinical Scientist in the Wessex Specialist Laser Centre said: " The birthmarks are known as port wine stains because of their deep red appearance and can occur anywhere on the body, but can be particularly distressing when they are on the face. They're caused by excess blood vessels just below the surface of the skin. However, a high powered laser can break these up improving the appearance of the birthmark for the patient. Patients, especially children, sometimes experience discomfort during treatment and the system helps to cool the skin during treatment alleviating this problem."
Staff at the Wessex Specialist Laser Centre at Salisbury District Hospital carry out nearly 2000 laser procedures every year to treat disfiguring birthmarks such as port wine stains.
Dr Wright said: " Although the system has only been in use for a matter of weeks the initial feedback from patients is overwhelmingly positive. We would just like to take this opportunity to thank the League of Friends for their generosity." Ends
For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. Tel: 01722 425170